Let's Keep Going

This is number 200 in a series of blog posts known as "Piggin's Unofficial Lists". The idea from the beginning was to pass on the news when I saw that some of the Vatican Library's most famous manuscripts had arrived online. There is no official list of weekly releases, so software help was needed for a mere user to detect changes in the published index of available manuscripts.

@gundormr has kindly provide the software to pick the changes and I compare these with a hand-list of 2,500 notable manuscripts which I drew up. With time, there are naturally fewer unfound items on that list (currently down to 1,600), since most of the very old and the very famous manuscripts are by now already up on the web for the whole world to read. The librarians fast-forwarded their greatest treasures into the digitization process.

My cancer is continuing its ravages (and so is the cut-poison-burn protocol used to fight it) and my health will soon undoubtedly decline to the point where Piggin's Unofficial Lists cannot go on.

But not just yet please! We are still waiting for some notable Vatican releases including William of Moerbeke's holograph Latin translation of Archimedes, Ott.lat.1850, and the Vatican Beatus, Vat.lat.7621. And I have talks to deliver at the International Conference on the History of Cartography in Amsterdam in July and Die Tabula Peutingeriana: Aktuelle Forschungsansätze und neue Ergebnisse in Vienna in September.

Four years ago, the first PUL issue, Is This the World's Oldest Bound Book? noted there were 1,626 manuscripts online by then. Today there are 17,413, more than ten times as many, but still only about one fifth of the amazing manuscript holdings at the Vatican.

Sometimes, when I look through the releases now, it is a challenge to find any codex in the weekly crop that is worth describing in words of excitement. It is pleasing that @DigitaVaticana has been issuing more frequent #LatestDigitizedManuscripts tweets recently, but PUL will keep appearing for a while yet.

Here is this week's list of 54 items:
  1. Barb.gr.300,
  2. Barb.gr.446,
  3. Barb.gr.471,
  4. Barb.gr.565.pt.1, lectionary (Evangelistarion) Gregory-Aland ℓ 134 of the 13th century, see Wikipedia 
  5. Barb.gr.565.pt.2,
  6. Barb.gr.579,
  7. Barb.gr.593,
  8. Barb.lat.33,
  9. Borg.copt.109.fasc.24,
  10. Ross.87,
  11. Ross.237,
  12. Urb.lat.563,
  13. Urb.lat.606,
  14. Urb.lat.619,
  15. Urb.lat.905,
  16. Urb.lat.967,
  17. Urb.lat.1288,
  18. Urb.lat.1464.pt.1,
  19. Urb.lat.1481.pt.1,
  20. Urb.lat.1481.pt.2,
  21. Urb.lat.1515,
  22. Urb.lat.1527,
  23. Urb.lat.1535,
  24. Urb.lat.1537,
  25. Urb.lat.1594.pt.1,
  26. Urb.lat.1651,
  27. Urb.lat.1654,
  28. Urb.lat.1658,
  29. Vat.estr.or.57,
  30. Vat.lat.2485,
  31. Vat.lat.2490,
  32. Vat.lat.3364, a book of draft papal letters scribed (and full of scratchings and amendments) by papal secretary Pietro Bembo: Epistulae nomine Leonis X scriptae (letters written for Leo X), When this was shown in the Rome Reborn exhibition, Anthony Grafton noted: "Bembo's autograph letters ... provide a good sample of "chancery italic," a script developed by Roman humanists in the late fifteenth century from the humanist cursive minuscule invented by the Florentine humanist Niccolo Niccoli in the 1420s." Today's lovely typeface Bembo is named after Pietro, but not because of his handwriting. Rather, the typographers' inspiration was a book of Pietro Bembo's verse in a font cut in 1495 by Francesco Griffo for Venetian printer Aldus Manutius.
  33. Vat.lat.4046,
  34. Vat.lat.4186,
  35. Vat.lat.4192 (Upgraded to HQ),
  36. Vat.lat.4194,
  37. Vat.lat.4472 (Upgraded to HQ),
  38. Vat.lat.4591, see also in Jordanus
  39. Vat.lat.4592, Ptolemaic astronomical tables for emperor Frederick III, see Jordanus 
  40. Vat.lat.4635,
  41. Vat.lat.4648 (Upgraded to HQ),
  42. Vat.lat.4656,
  43. Vat.lat.4657,
  44. Vat.lat.4664,
  45. Vat.lat.4670,
  46. Vat.lat.4675,
  47. Vat.lat.4676,
  48. Vat.lat.4687,
  49. Vat.lat.4690,
  50. Vat.lat.4692,
  51. Vat.lat.4704,
  52. Vat.lat.5604,
  53. Vat.lat.13488.pt.2,
  54. Vat.lat.14740,
This is Piggin's Unofficial List number 200. Thanks to @gundormr for harvesting. 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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