Free Art History Ebooks from The Getty and The MMA
Both The Getty and The Metropolitan Museum of Art are releasing digital books (.pdfs) of their own publications about their collections as a “virtual library.” These books are complete .pdf versions of the print bersions, and are free to download. Here’s The Getty’s list of free downloadable books. Here’s The Metropolitan Museum of Ar’s list of free downloadable art history publications. See also catalogs from other museums that are participating in the Getty-sponsored Online Scholarly Catalogue Initiative.
Ériu Special Compilation Issue
Ériu, a journal from the Royal Irish Academy, has published a special compilation issue in honor of the International Conference of Medievalists. The articles are all reprints, but they are some stellar reprints, and you can read them or download the .pdfs without a subscription to Ériu. The complete table of contents contains links to download .pdfs of the articles. Here are some that are particularly noteworthy: Calvert Watkins — “Sick-maintenance in Indo-European.” Donnchadh Ó Corráin. “The education of Diarmait Mac Murchada.” T.M. Charles-Edwards. “Early Irish Saints’ Cults and their Constituencies.” R. I. Best. “Notes on the script of Lebor na hUidre.”
The Book of Aneirin Digitized and Online
The 13th Century Book of Aneirin has been completely digitized and placed online. This is one of the four major Welsh mss. mostly known because it contains the text of Y Goddodin, an epic poem retelling the historic battle of Catraeth wherein 300 Men from Manaw Gododdin, near Edinburgh, fought the Saxons at Catraeth (modern day Catterick, North Yorkshire) around the year 600AD. Only three of the Britons survived the battle, one of whom, the poet Aneirin, commemorates the fallen. This is the last of the Four Ancient Books of Wales to be digitized and made publicly available. The other three books are: The Black Book of Carmarthen The Book of Taliesin The Red Book…
Getty Releases Images
Last August the Getty Museum announced that it has made 4,600 pieces of art from the museum’s collection free to use. They’re focussing on “public domain” works of art, that means works that have endured beyond the limits of copy right, and users are free to use, modify, and publish these works for any purpose. These are high-resolution, reproduction-quality images with embedded metadata, some over 100 megabytes in size. You can browse the images, or look for individual “download” links on the Getty Museum’s collection pages. Before the download actually begins, the Getty site asks simple questions about how you plan to use the images. There’s a well-written Getty Open Content Program FAQ.…
British Library’s Catalog of Illuminated Manuscripts Generous Permissions
The British Library began the digital catalog in 1997. Currently the catalog provides a digital record of 4,231 different manuscript, and includes 35,661 images those manuscripts, with a searchable database. The images were scanned following the best digital practices, and include provenance, metadata, and in many cases, detailed images. Today they announced extraordinarily generous permissions for use of those images: Technically these works are still in copyright in the UK until 2040, but given that they are anonymous and many centuries old, the Library has decided to provide the images on the Catalogue of Illuminated Manuscripts under a Public Domain Mark and treat them as public domain works, as would be…
The Panjab Digital Library
Via Peter Scott’s Library Blog, I learned about the Panjab Digital Library, an open, free, public digitization project. You can see an online exhibit of some of their very high quality manuscript digitization. The PDL digitizes books and photographs as well as manuscripts, but you can see the manuscripts that are currently available here. The Panjab Digital Library’s mission’s statement is: to locate, digitize, preserve, collect and make accessible the accumulated wisdom of the Panjab region, without distinction as to script, language, religion, nationality, or other physical condition.
Reichenau MS. Fragements Digitized
The Benedictine monastery of Reichenau was founded in 724, and by the Carolingian era, was one of the most important scriptoria in Europe, with particularly strong ties to Ireland. Baden State Library in Karlsruhe has released high-quality digital images of 224 fragments (some small pieces, other several folios) from the Reichenau library. The site is here. Notice that “fragment” is used very loosely; when you are navigating through the images, be aware that most of the fragments contain a number of images, of ms. pieces and entire folios.
Quondam et Futurus: An Arthurian Wiki
Carl S. Pyrdum of Got Medieval has created Quondam et Futurus, a new Arthurian Wiki. His invitation in part reads: My goal for the site is to create an encyclopedia of Arthurian knowledge accessible enough for the lay, non-academic audience (fanboyspeople included) and detailed enough to be useful for academics, too, a place where you can read about Malory’s changes to the story of Pelleas and Ettard, as well as about that episode of the Transformers where they pull a Conneticut Yankee. So, if you know anything about the Arthurian legends, please drop by the King Arthur Wiki. Trade me a few footnotes worth of your cognitive surplus. And if…
Codex Sinaiticus Project Goes Live July 24, 2008
The Codex Sinaiticus is one of the most important mss. we have, and the oldest extant New Testament. The fourth century (c. 350) Greek ms. is over 1600 years old and contains the complete Bible in Greek, including the oldest complete copy of the New Testament. The other central “complete” ms. bible is Codex Vaticanus, which varies in several ways from this carefully corrected ms. The Codex Sinaiticus has been in four sections for several hundred years. In 1844 a German Biblical scholar, Konstantin von Tischendorf, found several folios of the ms. at Saint Catherine’s Monastery by Mount Sinai. He brought part of the ms. to Leipzig University Library. Later…
National Gallery John Donne Portrait Appeal
There aren’t that many portraits of John Donne, and one of the best, the one you see here, has been in various private collections and less than accessible. This portrait was painted in Donne’s twenties, around the 1590s, the period when Jonson said “Donne wrote wrote all his best poetry,” the era in which we think most of the love poetry was written. The portrait was almost certainly done with Donne’s supervision. It’s Donne done as a melancholy lover, complete with disheveled and pricey expensive lace collars undone, and a Latin epigram. Donne is wearing an exceedingly romantic black floppy hat, and there’s a certain earnest directness to his gaze…