24 August 2007
The first stage of a digitization initiative which makes available high-quality images from the Bodleian Library’s collection of medieval manuscripts and early printed books has been completed. A batch of 4,000 images is now made available by ARTstor, a non-profit organization which started its collaboration with the Bodleian Library in 2005.
Including virtually all of the illuminated manuscript leaves from Bodleian manuscripts through the 16th century, as well as selected 19th and 20th- century manuscripts in the medieval tradition, the entire digital collection will reach 25,000 images with subsequent releases through 2008. The project also selectively includes significant bindings, illuminated initials, and text pages.
With more than 10,000 volumes, the Bodleian Library’s Department of Special Collections and Western Manuscripts has one of the greatest collections of western medieval manuscripts in the world.
Richard Ovenden, Keeper of Special Collections and Associate Director, Bodleian Library, said: ‘The Bodleian Library is delighted to be able to expand its digital collections. This extraordinary digital resource will be an important online tool for medievalists, art historians and scholars in related disciplines Our collaboration with Artstor will help scholars access material that has hitherto only been available in Oxford.’
Image: A 1436 copy made at Basle from a now lost Carolingian manuscript