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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Antioch in Late Antiquity: Photo Archive of the Princeton Excavations

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As museums digitize their collections, institutional stewards of excavation records are also slowly moving them online, as part of a much broader effort within archaeology to effectively manage and publish data.  For Late Antique archaeology, a major initial step has been taken with the publication of photographs from the excavations at Antioch-ad-Orontes (and its suburb, Daphne), under the general direction of Charles Rufus Morey, Chair of Princeton’s Department of Art and Archaeology, between 1932 and 1939. 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

Last Statues of Antiquity Database

This recently activated site is described as “a searchable database of the published evidence for statuary and inscribed statue bases set up after AD 284, that were new, newly dedicated, or newly reworked.”  The project is directed by R.R.R. Smith and Bryan Ward-Perkins at Oxford University, where the site is hosted; the database was produced by a large international team of contributors, with funding from the Arts & Humanities Research Council. Continue reading

Photoshop Manual for Scholars

This site is part of the West Semitic Research Project at the University of Southern California, founded by Bruce and Kenneth Zuckerman, who are famous for their photography of ancient manuscripts, including the Dead Sea Scrolls and the Coptic Manichaean codices from Medinet Madi.  They have provided some basic guidance for scholars using Adobe Photoshop to work with digital images of ancient texts; Continue reading

The Egeria Project

This interesting site is sponsored by a variety of civic and religious institutions, as well as cultural agencies; the full name of the project is Egeria: Mediterranean Medieval Places of Pilgrimage.  According to the site, the goal of the project is “the establishment of a network of cooperation for the documentation, preservation, enhancement and promotion of pilgrimage monuments.” Continue reading