Seven institutions have come together to create a database of 34,000 new images of medieval manuscripts, books and coins. This includes over 600 manuscripts that are now online.
The project ‘The Art of Reading in the Middle Ages’ was completed earlier this year. Led by the National and University Library of Slovenia, it includes the Brugge Public Library, the Hunt Museum, the Berlin State Library, Leiden University Libraries, Bibliotheque National de France and the National Library of the Czech Republic.
They all collaborated together to add 34,000 new digitized items to the Europeana web portal, and improve the image quality of another 30,000 items. Available in English, Dutch, French, German, Czech and Slovenian, the partners were able to create blog posts, educational materials, and videos.
The Europeana Foundation notes on their site how “the project had to face challenges brought about by the global COVID-19 pandemic, including limited access to digitisation rooms and the need to shift to online collaboration. Despite the limitations brought by the pandemic, the project exceeded its goals for digitising new medieval manuscripts, as well as for creating editorials and curatorial activities.”
Some of the highlights of the project include:
Bibliotheque National de France MS Français 12 – a copy of Antiquités judaïques et Guerre des Juifs created in the 15th century
A 14th-century chess piece – showing a dancing scene, this is from the Hunt Museum in Ireland
The Book of Wounds – a printed edition from the Berlin State Library
Copy of Des cas des nobles hommes et femmes by Giovanni Boccaccio – from Leiden University Library
Calendar – MS 39 a from the National and University Library of Slovenia
A series of videos were created by Leiden University Library to introduce people to the Art of Reading in the Middle Ages project:
Top Image: BnF MS Français 59 fol. 12v