Grant Aids Project by IU, Other Institutions to Digitize Medieval Manuscripts

(BLOOMINGTON) – Indiana University Bloomington and a consortium of higher-learning institutions have received a three-year grant for The Peripheral Manuscripts Project: Digitizing Medieval Manuscript Collections in the Midwest, which will create a digital repository and catalog of medieval manuscripts across Midwestern collections.

An example of a medieval manuscript in the Lilly Library collection.
An example of a medieval manuscript in the Lilly Library collection, Ricketts B:16 verso. A leaf from a missal. Germany, 12th century. This leaf was repurposed as a wrapper for another volume. Photo courtesy Lilly Library

The Council on Library and Information Resources awarded $281,936.10 for the project. IU Bloomington will serve as host for the grant, which was one of 18 projects receiving more than $4.1 million that the Council on Library and Information Resources announced Jan. 9 for its 2019 Digitizing Hidden Special Collections and Archives awards.

The project involves digitizing and cataloging 78 codices, or books, and 406 medieval manuscript fragments from a consortium of 22 Midwestern institutions, including IU Libraries’ Lilly Library. The project focuses on distinct collections that the holding institutions have not found it economically feasible to digitize and catalog on their own. A full list of partners is available on the project’s website.

IU Libraries will scan or photograph the manuscripts, and researchers at IU Bloomington, Loyola University Chicago and Saint Mary’s College, with assistance from partner librarians and subject specialists, will catalog these objects, including many manuscripts unrecorded in previous bibliographical surveys.

An example of a medieval book that will be part of a digitizing project.
An example of a medieval book that will be part of a digitizing project, the Book of Hours (use of Rome). Northern France, early 15th century. Flight into Egypt, f.50r. Photo courtesy Saint Meinrad Archabbey

As a result, The Peripheral Manuscripts Project: Digitizing Medieval Manuscript Collections in the Midwest will bring a wealth of previously inaccessible and uncataloged medieval material to scholarly consciousness.

All of the data generated by the grant team will be made freely available through digital library repository services developed and maintained by IU Libraries. This data includes manuscript descriptions and high-resolution images that meet the International Image Interoperability Framework compliance standards.

Information from News at IU Bloomington.

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