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

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

Red Monastery Video at the Metropolitan Museum of Art

From March 14-July 8, 2012, the Metropolitan Museum of Art is hosting a special exhibition, “Byzantium and Islam: Age of Transition.”  The exhibition has a strong online presence, including an extraordinary video of the Red Monastery, one of the best-preserved examples of Late Antique church architecture, especially noted for its vibrantly colored paintings. Continue reading

Traditions of Magic in Late Antiquity

This site, from the (relatively) early days of the web, is the result of an exhibit at the Kelsey Museum of the University of Michigan, curated in 1996 by Gideon Bohak, who has recently published Ancient Jewish Magic: A History (Cambridge, 2008).  Included are “Recipe books,” papyri with instructions for assembling various ingredients as part of the spell; a particularly rich collection of papyri amulets and gems, mostly from Campbell Bonner’s Studies in Magical Amulets: Chiefly Graeco-Egyptian (Ann Arbor, 1950), including the famous cock-headed anguiped “IAO;” Continue reading

Nag Hammadi Archive

This important collection of photos documents the editing of the Nag Hammadi Library and related activities, in Egypt, during the mid-70s.  They include photographs of the editors working at the Coptic Museum in Cairo; from the archaeological work done around the spot of the find; and finally, a series of negatives of the manuscripts themselves, taken in 1973, distinct from the facsimile edition of the codices later published by Brill. Continue reading

Database of Coptic Textiles

The Department of Anthropology at the California Academy of Sciences offers this unique site has short introductions (with images) to Coptic weaving techniques and textiles, and a searchable photographic database of all 81 Coptic textiles in its Rietz collection; to my knowledge, no online resource of similar scope exists for this important form of Late Antique art. Continue reading

Digital Images of the Cologne Mani Codex (CMC)

On the website of the University of Cologne’s Papyrus-Sammlung, an extremely important collection of ancient documents, high-resolution digital images of the Cologne Mani Codex are available: Continue reading