Saturday, February 21, 2009

Catalogue of Digitized Medieval Manuscripts

A team at UCLA has launched the Catalogue of Digitized Medieval Manuscripts, a centralized online archive of holdings worldwide.

The Catalogue first began to take form in Christopher Baswell's talk at the MLA conference in December, 2005. Generous support by the Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies at the University of California, Los Angeles, has enabled Professors Matthew Fisher and Christopher Baswell to develop this site, and make it publicly available in its current form through the CMRS web site. An additional grant from the UCHRI (University of California Humanities Research Institute) made possible additional data entry, and substantive refinements to the back-end technologies in place.
Eventually, the site will have a collaborative layer of some sort, so that scholars can share their expertise with other researchers and with libraries, which do not always have the most accurate information for each manuscript, according to Mr. Fisher. He’d like the catalog to provide a general set of digital tools, too, so that similar databases can be built in other fields.
To date the project has located over 5,000 digitized manuscripts, and over 1,o00 have been cataloged for inclusion. An article in the Chronicle of Higher Ed provides background on the project.

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