The Aberdeen Bestiary (MS 24), considered one of the finest medieval examples of the illuminated manuscript, is now available online thanks to Aberdeen University’s decades long effort to make the entire manuscript publicly available. Access to high-resolution images have given historians a close look at its gorgeous illuminations as well as a new perspective on the history and construction of the manuscript: imperfections now visible indicate numerous scribes took part in its creation; notes and instructions between scribes are visible in margins; thumb prints reveal frequent use as a teaching tool. In addition to the high resolution images, transcripts and translations of the original Latin text are available.
Archive for the ‘Libraries & Archives’ Category
Newsreel archive British Pathé, one of the oldest media companies in the world, has released its entire collection of films — 85,000 films — on YouTube. The release of vintage news reports and cinemagazines in high resolution will make this historic collection accessible to viewers all over the world. “Our hope is that everyone, everywhere who has a computer will see these films and enjoy them,” says Alastair White, General Manager of British Pathé. “This archive is a treasure trove unrivalled in historical and cultural significance that should never be forgotten. Uploading the films to YouTube seemed like the best way to make sure of that.” The collection documents major events, figures, trends, sports and culture worldwide from 1896 to 1976.
Read the British Pathé press release on their blog here.
Users of the Rembrandt Research Project (RRP) will be happy to know that there is a new resource available to Rembrandt scholars. The Rembrandt Database is an inter-institutional research resource for information and documentation on paintings by Rembrandt – or attributed to him, either now or in the past – in museums around the world. This new resource consolidates all the various documentation on Rembrandt into one site with the aim of becoming the first port of call for research on Rembrandt’s paintings. Over 20 institutions partnered with the primary sponsors RKD (Netherlands Institute for Art History) and the Royal Picture Gallery Mauritshuis in developing the Rembrandt Database. The developers eventually hope to include the body of information and documentation collected by the RRP into the Rembrandt Database.
The website currently contains 1700 digital documents (visual and textual material) relating to 12 paintings in 3 different museums. This number will grow in the coming period with the number of contributing museums is expected to reach 20 by 2014.
The Library of Congress recently announced the digitization of the Frances Benjamin Johnston lantern slide collection. Johnston (1864-1952) was a photographer and advocate of the garden beautiful movement. In support of this movement, Johnston toured the US and Europe during the 1910s and 1930s, presenting lectures on historic gardens and plant life. To illustrate these lectures, Johnston used her own images. She transfered 1,134 of her black and white photographs to lantern slides which she then hand-tinted so that she could illustrate her popular lectures for garden clubs, museums and horticultural societies in color. Johnston’s photographs depict more than 200 sites — primarily private gardens but also horticultural shows, a public library and museum, and several parks. The slides focus on the American East, West, and South but also include some images in Italy, France, and England.
For more on Johnston, her lectures and lantern slides, visit the Frances Benjamin Johnston Collection page at the Library of Congress.
The Netherlands Institute in Turkey (NIT) has launched a site making the photographic archive of Machiel Kiel, the former director of the NIT and a renowned Dutch scholar of Ottoman architectural monuments in the Balkan countries, available to the public. Created for the most part between the 1960s and 1990s, the Kiel Photographic Archive contains visual documentation of many monuments that have not survived or have been significantly altered during the second half of the twentieth century. The publication of Kiel’s archive by the NIT is hoped to significantly advance international research on this heritage.
As of May 2012, the NIT has almost 1300 images digitized and processed pertaining to Ottoman-Islamic architectural monuments in the Southeast-European countries (outside Turkey). The next phases will process images of monuments in Turkish Thrace and Christian monuments and mural painting from the Ottoman period.
Columbia University Libraries have announce the Libraries Research Awards Program designed to facilitate research access to the Libraries’ special collections. The Libraries will award ten grants of $2,500 each to those researchers who demonstrate a compelling need to consult Columbia Libraries special collections for their work. All US citizens are welcome to apply and preference will be given to those outside the New York City metropolitan area. The intent of the grant is to help defer the cost of visiting the Libraries for research needs.
Participating libraries and collections include: the Avery Architectural and Fine Arts Library, Burke Library at Union Theological Seminary, Butler Library, the Lehman Social Sciences Library, the Rare Book & Manuscript Library, C. V. Starr East Asian Library, and the Libraries’ Area Studies Collections.
Applications will be accepted through January 31, 2012, with research expected to be conducted at Columbia between July 1, 2012 and June 30, 2013. For eligibility, application guidelines, conditions, and more
information about the special collections at Columbia University, please visit the Libraries Research Awards Program.
Scholars can now look forward to accessing the Photoarchive of the Frick Art Reference Library online. With help from the NEH and the Henry Luce Foundation, the Frick has just released a beta version of its digital image archive containing 15,000 works of art and research documentation for 125,000 works of art. The archive is accessible at images.frick.org. You can access the Frick Reference Library collection through their online catalog FRESCO.
Established to facilitate object-oriented research, the Photoarchive is a study collection of more than one million photographic reproductions of works of art from the fourth to the mid-twentieth century by artists trained in the Western tradition. To read more about the online Photoarchive, go to the Frick press release.
Wellcome Images: 2000 Years of Human Culture is “one of the world’s richest and most unique collections, with themes ranging from medical and social history to contemporary healthcare and biomedical science.” The Wellcome Collection, established by Sir Henry Wellcome to explore the connections between medicine, life and art, provide digital access to their visual materials through Wellcome Images. They currently have 40,000 high-quality digital images available. This database offers an amazing assortment of unusual and diverse material, from historical images to Tibetan Buddhist paintings, ancient Sanskrit manuscripts written on palm leaves or medical teaching devices (such as the eye defect teaching model shown here).
Billed as “your single access point to films, images and texts from selected collections of 16 film archives across Europe,” the European Film Gateway (EFG) is a newly developed online portal that provides access to European film archives and cinémathèques. EFG currently contains over 26,000 videos, 515,000 images and 10,200 textual documents. To date, 18 collections are available, including Cinecittà Luce, Cinémathèque française, Cineteca di Bologna, COLLATE, Deutsches Filminstitut, Filmarchiv Austria and Národní filmový archiv.