Digital Winter

The long winter of the Vatican Library's digitization program continues, with very little genuinely new this month, barring seven Pal. lat. manuscripts and a single Ott. lat. item.

Not having any contacts with the library, I cannot say why this is. We know from published information that there are up to half a dozen teams of digitizers in Rome and that a team takes about six weeks from taking a manuscript off the shelf through scanning, checking and marking up to the point where a manuscript is published in facsimile. So they must be doing something.

One evident aim of this set-up is to satisfy the foundations that fund the work. A look at the Polonsky Foundation site suggests that its commission to digitize manuscripts has been pretty much completed: all the Greek manuscripts requested have green ticks next to them (except Ott.gr.147, which is in fact online), while only eight of the Hebrew manuscripts remain to be issued. (Incidentally, if you are interested in how to show manuscripts from two libraries side by side on one screen, the Polonsky blog this week tells you how to use Mirador software.)

A contract with the Heidelberg University Library and Manfred Lautenschläger Stiftung to complete the Pal.lat. collection (which was confiscated from Germany all those years ago) is also heading for completion, which explains the brisk progress there.

It's not clear who, apart from NTT Data with 1,800 items pledged, will fund the continuation of the work, or what happens next. There may perhaps have been recent progress in digitizing incunabula, archival volumes and the old inventories, which have separate portal pages and which I have not been tracking. 

Here is a listing of the new Heidelberg items:
Here are the 20 newest postings in Rome, of which 19 are not really new, having been accessible via the German site for years:
This is Piggin's Unofficial List number 88. If you have corrections or additions, please use the comments box below. Follow me on Twitter (@JBPiggin) for news of more additions to DigiVatLib.

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