Skip to comments.The Vatican and Oxford University team up to digitize 1.5 million pages of medieval manuscripts
Posted on 12/07/2013 6:43:11 AM PST by NYer
The University of Oxford and the Vatican have jointly created a digital project that will put online over 1.5 million pages of medieval and biblical texts.
The four-year project will digitize the collections of the Bodleian Libraries and the Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana (BAV) related to their Hebrew manuscripts, Greek manuscripts and fifteenth-century printed books. They include a Gutenberg Bible from 1455, an autographed and annotated manuscript of Maimonides’ Mishneh Torah, and the oldest surviving Hebrew codex.
The project is funded by a $3.2 million grant from the Polonsky Foundation. Dr Leonard Polonsky said, “In today’s fast-paced, digital-driven world of scholarship, easy access to primary resources is paramount. I hope that the collection of digital texts that is jointly released by the Bodleian and the Vatican libraries will make a contribution to the advancement of modern scholarship.”
While the Vatican and the Bodleian have each been creating digital images from their collections for a number of years, this project has provided an opportunity for both libraries to increase the scale and pace with which they can digitize their most significant collections, while taking great care not to expose books to any damage, as they are often fragile owing to their age and condition.
The newly launched website features zoomable images which enable detailed scholarly analysis and study. The website also includes articles on the conservation and digitization techniques, as well as video presentations made by scholars and supporters of the project.
Monsignor Cesare Pasini, the Prefect of the Vatican Library, added, “I am very pleased with the website that is launched together by the two institutions: I envision how useful it will be to scholars and many other interested people. Moreover, I see the common fruit of our labour as a very positive sign of collaboration and sharing, that is a trademark of the world of culture.”
Sources: University of Oxford, Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana, Polonsky Foundation
"They should sell all those manuscripts and give the money to the poor"
- Random FReeper
That is most impressive. Did you create this with pen and ink or with computer graphics?
LOL. I was thinking that this article was the answer to “why doesn’t Francis sell the Vatican and give it all to the poor,” a post I saw on freepers a few days ago. You beat me to it.
Wow, the Vatican has a signed Maimonides Torah? Who knew? Those archives are one place I would love to stroll around and look through. It will be funny though if the original manuscripts out live the digital media that they are being saved to.
Pen, ink, gold leaf, gum ammoniac, tempera and vellum...The only computer used in my artwork is to order my supplies online :-)
I’ve often wondered why a FReeper would write that. As conservatives, shouldn’t they know that redistribution of wealth hurts the poor even more?
Doesn't make much sense to me either, but I've read that very line so many times (particularly when the Holy Father talks about the poor) that I couldn't resist.
Ping to manuscripts digitization project.
Your work is so beautiful, J. This has always been one of my favorites of yours and of the psalms.
“— each man is but a breath.”
Thank you dear!
In a former life, you were a monk at the Malmesbury Abby in Wiltshire, England and supervised the Scriptorium. Your Blackletter technique is first rate.
Did you use Lac and Woad for your reds and blues?
I do have a natural tonsure :-)
I do occasionally grind my own pigments, but in the case of my Psalm 40, I was on a timeline to complete it and get it matted and framed for my parents' anniversary. As much as possible, I do try to limit my palette to those pigments that would have been available in the middle ages (or cheaper synthetic equivalents where the actual pigments are cost prohibitive, overly toxic, or too chemically unstable for conservation purposes).
I’m sure it is properly trimmed.
How many hours did it take?
Please post any other creations. Thanks.
I've sold a few pieces along the way, but have given away far more stuff. The problem is that, if you want to do an authentic piece, materials are very expensive. A full fetal vellum is $200+, a book of 23K gold leaf is now going for $55 - $60 (for a long time it was sold in books of 40 for $40). On top of that, the investment in man hours is substantial: On the few pieces I've sold, it's probably worked out to me recouping about $10-$12 an hour...nobody need tell me I need to keep my day job :-)
There’s a few of my pieces on my homepage, about halfway down.
Quite an undertaking.
Vatican, Oxford put ancient manuscripts online
Vatican and Bodleian Libraries [Oxford University] Launch Online Archive of Ancient Religious Texts