Nearly 100 new digitizations at the BAV

On March 4, 2015, the digital library of the BAV or Vatican Library placed online nearly 100 newly digitized manuscript codices and map folders.

As is usual, there was no public announcement of this. I have no contact with Rome, so I can only speculate as to the reasons for such a silence. It may be that the library's server has a limited capacity and could not cope with the acute surge of requests that would follow any publicity.

Or there may be no funding to conduct public relations for a project that is being mainly funded by corporate and private sponsorship. It is possible too that funding institutions such as the Polonsky Foundation, which has a key role in digitizing the Hebrew manuscripts, wish to make their own public presentations at a later date. Polonsky announced February 24 it had reached the 1-million page mark.

But perhaps there is simply a modest sense at the BAV that this is no big deal yet, given that the project started years ago and the intermediate goal of getting 3,000 manuscripts online may not be met until 2016 at this rate. To get the entire stock of 82,000 BAV manuscripts digitized may take four decades, and at the same time, the BAV has committed to separately digitizing thousands of incunables. (See the presentation of one of the world's oldest printed cookbooks.)

Nevertheless the release is quite remarkable.

Less than a year ago, the manuscripts site consisted only of clones of independent digitizations by the Heidelberg state library in Germany and a paltry 24 Roman manuscripts, as I noted at the time. Today the BAV site offers a total of 1,787 works and has surpassed the tally of digitized manuscripts offered online by the British Library (1,220 at the last tally) or by e-codices of Switzerland (1,233).

Of the 151 collections making up the Rome library (see the BAV’s own list), 50 are now represented in some way in this digital presence.

Using comparison software, I have identified the following 97 newcomers this week. I have added notes on content, which are in some cases guesses more than anything else.
  1. Barb.gr.6, Maximus Confessor, 580-662, Opere spurie e dubbie
  2. Barb.gr.372, Psalter
  3. Barb.lat.2724, Chronicon Vulturnense: Miniatures, most of them showing the handing over of donation charters to St. Vincent, like Bishop John's
    This extraordinary compilation was made about 1130 and tells the history of the monastery at Volturno, Italy (Wikipedia). A monk of the monastery, Iohannes, composed the Chronicle.
  4. Barb.lat.4076, is an autograph of Francesco da Barberino's Renaissance poem, Documenti d'Amore. Here is a cartoon-style blurred action image showing some impressive rapid-fire archery in all directions:
  5. Barb.lat.4077, More Francesco da Barberino
  6. Barb.lat.4391.pt.B, maps of Roman fortifications in 1540
  7. Barb.lat.4408, working drawings for mural restorations in 1637
  8. Borg.gr.6
  9. Borg.isl.1
  10. Borg.lat.420, Coronation of Clement VII
  11. Borg.lat.561, Life of Roderico Borgia
  12. Borgh.2, texts of Leontius and of Ephraem the Syrian
  13. Borgh.4, Gregory the Great: Moralia in Job
  14. Borgh.6, collected sermons
  15. Borgh.7, Pope Boniface, Decretales
  16. Borgh.9, Porphyry of Tyre and Boethius
  17. Borgh.10, Letters of Seneca
  18. Borgh.11, Order of Consecration
  19. Borgh.12, Works of Godefridus Tranensis
  20. Borgh.13, Works of Abū Bakr Muḥammad ibn Zakarīyā Rāzī, 865?-925?
  21. Borgh.17, Henry of Ghent’s Summa
  22. Borgh.18, Boethius
  23. Borgh.19
  24. Borgh.20
  25. Borgh.23, Italian sermons
  26. Borgh.24
  27. Borgh.25, Vulgate bible
  28. Borgh.26, 13th-century legal text, Apparatus Decretorum
  29. Borgh.27, Gerardus de Bononiensi
  30. Borgh.29, Wyclif?
  31. Borgh.30
  32. Borgh.131, Boethius, Variorum
  33. Borgh.174, 14th century sermons
  34. Borgh.372, Glossa on Justinian. Here's a miscreant in blue hauled into court on 147r
  35. Borgh.374: A 13th-century text of the Emperor Justinian's legal codifications including the Institutions, annotated by medieval lawyers. Justinian was emperor at Constantinople 527-565. Here's a widow under the heavy burden of a no-incest provision in Borgh 374 at 4r:
  36. Borg.Carte.naut.III. This is Diogo Ribeiro's 1529 map "in which is contained all that has been discovered in the world until now." Less than four decades after Columbus’s first voyage across the Atlantic, it shows the Americas in detail, but not New Zealand, which the Dutch explorer Abel Janszoon Tasman was not to document until l642 and which James Cook was not to circumnavigate and map until 240 years after this map was drawn. Jerry Brotton's History of the World in Twelve Maps features it.

    Unfortunately the resolution of this digitization, welcome as it is, falls short of what one would hope for. The section above is the Gulf of Mexico, and it is impossible to zoom in far enough to read the place-names. I would presume the map has been scanned at much higher resolution, and I hope @DigitaVaticana can upload this so that the fourth and closest zoom level provides legible text.
  37. Chig.B.VII.110
  38. Chig.C.VII.213
  39. Chig.C.VIII.228
  40. Chig.P.VII.10.pt.A
  41. Ferr.30, letters of Giuliano Ettorre
  42. Ott.gr.314
  43. Ott.lat.1050.pt.1
  44. Ott.lat.1050.pt.2
  45. Ott.lat.1447
  46. Ott.lat.1448
  47. Ott.lat.1458, Ovid’s Metamorphoses
  48. Ott.lat.1519
  49. Pal.gr.55
  50. Pal.gr.135
  51. Reg.gr.80
  52. Reg.lat.88, French chronicle
  53. Reg.lat.695, Life of St. Denis
  54. Reg.lat.720
  55. Reg.lat.721
  56. Reg.lat.1480, Ovid in French, illuminated. Here's one of the fine pictures (folio 156r). I think it is Diana about to sock it to Actaeon, who will be trying desperately to explain that he is not a stag. With those feeble arms, she really ought to spend less time at home curled up on the couch and more time at the gym:
  57. Ross.61
  58. Ross.70
  59. Ross.74
  60. Ross.181, Missal from St Peter's Monastery, Erfurt, Germany, datable to about 1200: see the post on this by Klaus Graf (reproduced below as comment) with a search that points to comparable missals in German archives and the influence of Conrad of Hirsau, a Benedictine author, on the German scriptoria.
  61. Ross.186, Gilbert of Hoyland
  62. Ross.198
  63. Ross.206, Psalter
  64. Ross.292
  65. Ross.553, Hebrew Ms.
  66. Ross.554, illuminated Hebrew Bible
  67. Ross.556, Hebrew Psalter
  68. Ross.733
  69. Ross.817, Gilles Bellemère
  70. Urb.ebr.2, Kennicott-Rossi 225 according to @RickBrannan
  71. Urb.ebr.4
  72. Urb.ebr.5
  73. Urb.ebr.6
  74. Urb.ebr.7
  75. Urb.ebr.8
  76. Urb.ebr.10
  77. Urb.ebr.11
  78. Urb.ebr.12
  79. Urb.ebr.14
  80. Urb.ebr.15
  81. Urb.ebr.17
  82. Urb.ebr.18
  83. Urb.ebr.19
  84. Urb.ebr.21
  85. Urb.ebr.22
  86. Urb.ebr.23
  87. Urb.ebr.24
  88. Urb.ebr.26
  89. Urb.ebr.28
  90. Urb.ebr.29
  91. Urb.ebr.30
  92. Urb.ebr.31
  93. Urb.ebr.37
  94. Urb.ebr.38
  95. Urb.ebr.39
  96. Urb.ebr.40
  97.  Vat.ebr.71, Ḳimḥi, David ben Yosef, c.1160-c.1235, Commentary on Latter Prophets
There is so much here that it will take some time to trawl through all the digitizations. If any codex which I have listed is of especial interest to you, why not use the comment box below this post to briefly introduce it and explain its importance to other readers.

Follow me on Twitter (@JBPiggin) for more news of these digitizations. [This is Piggin's Unofficial List 4.]

1 comment :

  1. Ross. 181 ist ein Codex aus dem hirsauisch geprägten Erfurter Peterskloster um 1200