T-Pen and tranScriptorium: Digital Tools for Manuscript Transcription

Transcription for Paleographical and Editorial Notation, or “T-Pen,” developed at the Center for Digital Theology of Saint Louis University, is a tool for the transcription and annotation of manuscripts, through their digital images, to which they are linked on a line-by-line basis; it is currently in its beta version, and will continue to add features.  By signing up, one can make transcriptions from the numerous manuscripts and notebooks made available by libraries, some of which contain texts from Late Antiquity (i.e., the Parker Library at Corpus Christi College, Cambridge, is associated with T-Pen); transcriptions can be exported as a .pdf or XML, but not, apparently, to editorial software (such as Classical Text Editor). Continue reading

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Byzantium and Islam: A Special/Web Exhibit at the Met

Museums large and small are not only digitizing their inventories; many now also create permanent websites for special exhibitions.  An excellent example of the latter is “Byzantium and Islam: Age of Transition,” at the Met between March 14 and July 8 2012, one of the best presentations of the material culture of later Late Antiquity, which brought the now widespread academic trend of viewing early Islam within its historical context to a wider audience; Continue reading

Digital Manuscripts at the Walters Art Museum

The Walters Art Museum in Baltimore, Maryland, like many institutions with important manuscripts, is digitizing their collection; a Preservation and Access grant from the NEH is supporting the creation of images for their Byzantine, Armenian, and Ethiopian holdings.  The Walters Art Museum’s approach, however, is multi-faceted: one can flip through “digital surrogates” of select manuscripts, especially in the Islamic collection, including this copy of the Shahname; or download digital images of others, such as this Syriac Galen, on a different site.  Most innovative, perhaps, is their creation of a Flickr stream with images from their archiving project, which may indeed be an effective way to have these manuscripts reach a broader audience. Continue reading

“The Gospel of Jesus’s Wife” and Codex Tchacos Fragments: Digital Images

The Coptic conference in Rome is off to a fast start!  Among the many interesting communications today at the Institutum Patristicum Augustinianum, two concerned fascinating and unpublished apocryphal texts (fragments, unfortunately), digital images of which have graciously been made available online before their print publication, allowing scholars and the interested public to study them immediately.  Professor Karen King of Harvard presented a tiny, poorly-written portion of a manuscript page, owned by a private collector, which features a dialogue between Jesus and his disciples in which he mentions “my wife.” Continue reading

Hmmlorientalia by Adam McCollum

This rich blog by Adam McCollum features posts connected to his work as lead cataloguer of Eastern Christian Manuscripts at the Hill Museum and Manuscript Library at St. John’s University, Minnesota.  There are a number of interesting entries about manuscripts which he has examined, including observations about the field of Eastern Christian studies more generally (especially Armenian, Arabic, Ethiopic, and Syriac), which is literally centuries behind Classics with respect to cataloguing and editing. Continue reading

Syriac Studies Reference Library

The Syriac Studies Reference Library is a joint project of Brigham Young University and the Catholic University of America, through which a number of foundational scholarly works from the 18th to early 20th century have been scanned from CUA’s own collection and made available online; most are unavailable in Google Books or the Internet Archive.  One can browse by ancient authors, such as Nestorius, and topics, such as hagiography and historiography; or search by keyword.  Textual editions and translations, studies, and research tools are all well represented. Continue reading

Apocrypha/Ascetica/Magica/Manichaica at Heidelberg

The Heidelberger Papyrussammlung has made a number of color photos (in both 72 and 150 DPI) of very important Coptic papyri available on their website, including: the Acta Pauli, ed. Carl Schmidt (Hildesheim, 1905; P. Heid. Inv. Kopt. 300-301), important as a witness to both the text and the Lycopolitan dialect; selections of P. Nepheros, ed. Bärbel Kramer and John Shelton (Mainz, 1987; mostly Greek papyri), an important fourth-century monastic archive from the Heracleopolite nome; Continue reading