The Getty Museum has recently digitized and made available the Northumberland Bestiary, a 13th century manuscript containing descriptions and images of animals and beasts.
The 75-page manuscript, which was created in London around the 1250s or 1260s, contains 112 coloured ink drawings ranging from goats to the hydra. The first few images are taken from the Bible, including showing Adam naming some of the birds and animals.
The Northumberland Bestiary was originally owned by the Duke of Northumberland, but in 1990 was sold to a private collector. In 2007 the Getty Museum purchase the manuscript for a reported $20 million (US).
In an interview with the ChronicleLive, the current Duke of Northumberland commented, “The Northumberland Bestiary is a fascinating and wonderful document which provides a unique insight into the world at that time. I am delighted the it has found such a good home with the Getty Museum, and that they are able to share its many delights through the Internet, allowing all those with an interest to enjoy the fabulous contents in its entirety.”
See also this great video showing the Bestiary, created by SexyCodicology: