9 News: Secrets of billions of ancient Japanese texts being uncovered by AI. “The content of billions of ancient texts written in a now-obsolete Japanese script have long puzzled researchers struggling to decode the secrets they might hold. Known as Kuzushiji, the ancient cursive script was used from the 8th century to the start of the 20th, however less than 0.01 per cent of the world’s population can currently read it.”
Global Press Journal: How Sri Lankans Are Preserving History, One Manuscript At a Time. “Thousands of one-of-a-kind manuscripts written on palmyrah leaves that were lost during Sri Lanka’s civil war, are being recovered. Now, local people are working to digitize them and preserve the history they contain.” This Web site was a bit of a slow load for me, but I found the article well worth it.
British Library Medieval Manuscripts Blog: Insular Manuscripts: Networks of Knowledge. “For the last three years, the ‘Insular Manuscripts: Networks of Knowledge’ project has been investigating the large number of manuscripts written in insular scripts between the mid-7th and the mid-9th centuries. The project aims to examine knowledge exchange in early medieval Europe through analysis of these manuscripts. Some of the manuscripts were written in Britain and Ireland, but many were written in Francia and northern Italy, in monasteries which had been founded by missionaries from Ireland and the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms.”
British Library Medieval manuscripts blog: Even more digitised manuscripts. “Long-term readers of this Blog may be aware that we periodically publish lists of our digitised manuscripts. Our last one was published in July 2018 and the wait for a new one is over — here are up-to-date lists of manuscript hyperlinks to make it easier for you to explore our amazing digitised treasures.”
British Library: New collections online – June 2019. “Over the past few months we have made six new projects available to view online through our website. These new collections demonstrate the diverse variety of archives the EAP digitises, and includes eighteenth-century Brazilian royal orders, artwork and photography by Lalit Mohan Sen, colonial archives, Coptic manuscripts and prayer scrolls, war photography, and historic newspapers.”
New-to-me and recently updated, from the Asian and African Studies Blog: Islamic Painted Page: Growing a Database. “Since its launch in 2013, Islamic Painted Page (IPP) has grown into a major online database of Islamicate arts of the book, with over 42,000 references to paintings, illuminations and bindings from over 270 collections around the globe – of which the British Library is one of the most important…. The website enables users to search by picture description, collection, accession number, date, place of origin, manuscript title or author, or publication – or any combination of these.”
Ars Technica: No, someone hasn’t cracked the code of the mysterious Voynich manuscript. “There are so many competing theories about what the Voynich manuscript is—most likely a compendium of herbal remedies and astrological readings, based on the bits reliably decoded thus far—and so many claims to have deciphered the text, that it’s practically its own subfield of medieval studies. Both professional and amateur cryptographers (including codebreakers in both World Wars) have pored over the text, hoping to crack the puzzle.”