Tag Archives: IQ180

Digitising Latin MS 113

CHICC recently digitised a beautiful 15th century chronicle roll here at the Rylands.

We decided to make a quick video of us working, showing how we tackle imaging a 20ft parchment roll.

Have a look at the video below, the images can be found on LUNA here.

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Blackburn’s ‘Worthy Citizen’: The Philanthropic Legacy of R.E.Hart

A few weeks ago, CHICC traveled over to the Blackburn Museum to digitise some wonderful manuscripts from the R.E. Hart collection.

The work forms part of a much larger AHRC funded project for an exhibition of parts of the collection at the Senate House Library in London.

Hart 20966, f. 106v, Venetian Book of Hours, c. 1470-80

Hart 20966, f. 106v, Venetian Book of Hours, c. 1470-80

From the project blog:

“On the 1st of May, James Robinson, head photographer of the John Rylands Heritage Imaging group, worked on-site at the Blackburn Museum. The session had been arranged by our team member, Tony Harris, and the specifications for our display needs were agreed between James and Tony. The beauty of the John Rylands expertise, is that all the photography took place at  the Blackburn Museum itself. The manuscripts and incunabulae were therefore spared transportation, and our project was spared that expense. Jamie managed to take sixty photographs over the course of the day, assisted by Vinai Solanki, the curator of the Museum , and myself. The kit which Jamie had with him enabled us to photograph items of great variety in size and shape, from a palm -sized English Book of Hours, to a fold-out fifteenth-century map of Jerusalem that extended to five feet in length. The images will be used on a display screen at the exhibition, to enable the viewers to see more of the manuscripts themselves, and to illustrate our catalogue for the show. Vinai will also use the images to raise the profile of the Hart Collection in the community itself.”

Be sure to follow the blog for progress on the project, and look out for the exhibition opening in November.

Image courtesy of Blackburn Museum

Image courtesy of Blackburn Museum

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CHICC Digitising the Archive of John Henry Cardinal Newman



CHICC are pleased to announce we have begun the digitisation of John Henry Cardinal Newman’s vast archive. The project is a collaboration between ourselves, The National Institute for Newman Studies, in Pittsburgh and Birmingham Oratory where the archive is kept.

A new blog is now live, following the progress of the digitisation project make sure to follow for regular updates!

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The Teeniest book in the library, is now not the teeniest book in the library….

After last weeks post about the tiny Lords Prayer we have in the library, our head of printed books had to out do that, and buy the tiniest mechanically printed book, in the world!

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The leather bound book takes the art of printing and bookbinding to an entirely new dimension of precision.  Renowned German typographer Joshua Reichert especially created a colourful alphabet for this tiny ABC-picture book, exclusively produced in the traditional book city of Leipzig where the idea was originally born.

Measuring 2.4 x 2.9 mm and presented in a wooden box including a magnifying glass, this is the world’s smallest book in a published edition.

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New ebooktreasures release: The Kelmscott Chaucer

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The Works of Geoffrey Chaucer, which took four years to complete, is a masterpiece of book design and is acknowledged widely as the zenith of 19th-century book production. It contains 87 wood-engraved illustrations by the Pre-Raphaelite painter Edward Burne-Jones (1833-98). Burne-Jones worked on the Chaucer designs only on Sundays when Morris, his life-long friend, would visit to talk as he drew. In addition to the Chaucer typeface – a smaller version of the Troy type – Morris himself designed for the book the woodcut title, 14 large borders, 18 different frames and 26 initial words. The text of The Canterbury Tales is based on the Ellesmere manuscript, and the remaining text on Professor Walter William Skeat’s (1835-1912) edition of Chaucer for the OUP.
The Kelmscott Chaucer was completed in June 1896, just months before Morris’s death. This copy –  one of 425 copies  printed on paper – was purchased by Mrs Enriqueta Augustina Rylands (1843-1908), the founder of The John Rylands Library, for her personal collection. The Library also holds one of the 13 copies printed on vellum.
The Kelmscott Press, set-up in 1891 by the designer and craftsman William Morris (1834-96), was the most famous and influential British private press. Inspired by the hand presses of the 15th century, Morris supervised all details of production, including the choice of ink and paper, the design of the type and the use of ornaments and illustration.

An eBookTreasures facsimile edition can now be downloaded from iTunes here.

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CHICC Welcomes Haitham!

Yesterday Mr. Haitham Sayed began a one month internship with CHICC. Haitham has been appointed as the TIF DAK (The Thesaurus Islamicus Foundation and Dar al Kutub Project) digitisation expert and will be training here with the digitisaton and the collection care teams.

We are very pleased to welcome Haitham and look forward to working with him over the coming weeks. To keep up to date with what Haitham has been doing you can see his weekly posts here on the blog.

…watch this space!

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Rylands Haggadah, Hebrew MS 6

Happy New Year!

We are beginning the year with some exciting news about Rylands Hebrew MS 6.

The Rylands Haggadah has now been digitised in full following painstaking conservation work carried out by Steve Mooney. This manuscript, a Passover Haggadah (service book) is one of the Rylands’ most famous items, it has been described as ‘one of the finest of its kind’.

Modern illustrated editions of the Passover Haggadah are still common today, however this manuscript was produced in fourteenth-century Spain, around the time that it became the popular practice to illuminate the Passover Haggadah. The Sephardi Hebrew text is prefaced by a series of full-page colour illustrations of the story of Exodus.

Here is a sneak preview of some of the illustrations of the story of Exodus, and watch this space for more news on how to view this extraordinary book online. 

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Camera comparison

People always wonder what the differences are between different resolutions of camera. It’s all well and good saying the resolution is better, but what does that actually mean? We have just photographed an interesting comparison between 3 of our cameras, the IQ180, P25+ and P65+. (the P45+ is at the other studio) Each camera has a resolution of 80mp, 22mp and 60.5mp respectively. All 3 images were photographed on the large copystand, using a Phase One 645DF body with a Phase One 120mm macro lens, lit with Profoto D1 studio lights. camera set at f12, 60/sec.

The same image at 100%

The real differences are visible when zoomed in at 100%. The detail from all 3 cameras is great, but the IQ180 really shows its worth on an item like this. When photographing items, we always consider which camera is best for the job. Luckily, we don’t really have any space issues, so the 80mb raw files from the IQ180 don’t pose a problem. However, we tend to use the P25+ for basic items like letters and normal printed material. Any manuscripts, early printed material, objects or art like the 16th Century binding used here, requires the higher resolution the IQ180 gives us. The files we upload into LUNA are high resolution TIFF, that are converted into JPEG2000.

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