British Library Officially Launches Greek Manuscripts Site

The British Library has officially launched Greek Manuscripts. “Greek Manuscripts … is intended to complement and promote the hundreds of Greek manuscripts digitised by the British Library in recent years. The website contains articles on a wide variety of subjects relating to Greek papyri and manuscripts, written by experts from the UK, continental Europe, and North America. Additionally, several videos provide short visual introductions to key topics. Collection items discussed in the articles are given separate item pages, with links to the online catalogue entry and full digital coverage on Digitised Manuscripts.” A hat tip to Esther S. for the heads-up.

Vatican Digitizes 1600-Year-Old Edition of Virgil

The Vatican Library has digitized a 1600-year-old edition of Virgil. “Created in Rome around 400AD, the Vatican Virgil consists of 76 surviving pages, and 50 illustrations. The fragments of text are from the Latin poet’s Aeneid, his epic tale of Aeneas’s journey from the sack of Troy to Carthage, the underworld and then Italy, where he founds Rome. It also contains fragments from Virgil’s poem of the land, The Georgics, but the original manuscript is likely to have contained all of Virgil’s canonical works.”

American Libraries Magazine: Fielding a Field Notes Comeback

Oooh, I love it. From American Libraries Magazine: Fielding a Field Notes Comeback. “Until recently, researcher field notes and firsthand observations were difficult to digitize because of handwriting issues and formatting. Three projects—the Field Book Project, the Biodiversity Heritage Library (BHL) Field Notes Project, and Expanding Access to Biodiversity Literature—are changing that.”

Blog: Techniques for Recovering Lost Texts

For archivists: Techniques for recovering lost texts. “A substantial portion of the Rylands Gaster manuscript collection have already been selected for digitisation, including a number of manuscripts that suffered water damage during the Second World War. The level of water damage varies, some texts are still legible but faint, others have whole sections of pages rendered illegible. The Heritage Imaging Team have been investigating the best way to recover the text in these volumes, unsurprisingly, we have found that a single solution does not fit all. The aim of this blog post is to demonstrate the different processing options available to researchers.” There’s got to be a way you could automate that Photoshop imaging…

In Development: Archive of Historical Arabic Manuscripts

In development: a digital archive of historical Arabic manuscripts. “St. Catherine’s Monastery, a UNESCO World Heritage site that’s located on rugged terrain at the foot of Mount Sinai in Egypt, houses the oldest continually operating library in the world, containing ancient and medieval manuscripts second only to those held by the Vatican Library. These remarkable manuscripts, which delve into subjects ranging from history and philosophy to medicine and spirituality, were never easily accessed by scholars and students… That will all be changing, thanks to a major grant from the Ahmanson Foundation to the UCLA Library. The grant will fund key aspects of the Sinai Library Digitization Project to create digital copies of some 1,100 rare and unique Syriac and Arabic manuscripts dating from the fourth to the 17th centuries.”

New Online Archive of Manuscripts from Northern Thailand

Now available: an online archive of manuscripts from northern Thailand. “Working with the National Library of Laos, Penn professor Justin McDaniel, chair of the department of religious studies, has launched the Digital Library of Northern Thai Manuscripts at http://lannamanuscripts.net as a resource for the study of traditional literature from this region. At present, the digital library contains images of over 4,200 manuscripts that can be searched and viewed online or freely downloaded, and to which more manuscripts will be added.” A much more extensive article about the archive is available at the Bangkok Post.

Hebrew Manuscript Digitizing Project Entering Its Home Stretch

The British Library is entering the homestretch of its Hebrew Manuscript digitizing project. “Our followers and readers will be delighted to learn that over 760 Hebrew manuscripts have now been uploaded to the British Library’s Digitised Manuscripts. Generously funded by The Polonsky Foundation, the Hebrew Manuscripts Digitisation Project aims at digitising and providing free on-line access to well over 1250 Hebrew handwritten books from the Library’s collection. The project, which began in 2013 is due for completion in June 2016, when the full complement of manuscripts will be available to a global audience.”

Malta Establishes Digital Library

Malta’s Digital Library is up and running. “A digital archive of the documents at the National Library in Valletta is up and running and readers can now download a copy of the first printed books dating back to the 15th century, known as incunabula, to read them at their leisure on their mobile or computer….There are over 60,000 pages accessible online so far, but the digitisation process will be ongoing as the library is always receiving new material. So far, 700,000 pages have been captured and are going through the digitisation process.”

Project Underway to Digitize Medieval Manuscripts

Three Pennsylvania institutions are leading a project to digitize a large collection of medieval works. “Lehigh [University], the Free Library of Philadelphia, and the University of Pennsylvania are leading a project, called Bibliotheca Philadelphienis, that will digitalize the largest regional collection of medieval and early modern manuscripts in the country.” The collection is expected to be almost 160,000 pages.