Tag Archives: latin

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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Infrared Imaging Workshop with George Bevan

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On Monday 20th Feburary 2012 the John Rylands Library welcomed a visit from Dr. George Bevan, Assistant Professor in the Department of Classics at Queen’s University, Canada.

The visit was arranged by University of Manchester Academic and Papyrologist Dr. Roberta Mazza, Lecturer in Ancient History and Early Christianity, School of Arts, Histories & Cultures.

The workshop was incredibly informative and interesting and comes at an excellent time for CHICC as we are starting to think about developing other kinds of imaging techniques, such as Infrared Photography (IR). Dr. Bevan demonstrated his techniques using kit which can be packed down and transported around inside in a single camera case.

At one time IR photography was very costly, difficult and time consuming, however Dr. Bevan convincingly demonstrated that with the development of digital technologies this is no longer the case.

Following an introductory presentation, members of the workshop got involved with imaging some items from the Rylands’ Collections. Using the Infrared equipment we worked with three very different items – some glazed papyri, ostraca and a page of a water-damaged manuscript. We saw the most impressive results from the ostraca, and learned a lot as we came across challenges in imaging the papyri and ‘missing’ text on the manuscript page.

The workshop was very successful and have given us a lot of food for thought. We are looking in to the possibility of adapting and acquiring some new equipment to carry out Infrared Imaging here at the Rylands.


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Christianus Prolianus ‘Astronomia’ 1478.

Folio 58v - Comparative view of the magnitudes of the Sun (a large disc of burnished gold), the Moon (silver), Mars (gold), Venus (gold), Mercury (gold) and Earth (pale). Folio 59 recto - two large gold discs representing Corpus Saturni and Corpus Jovis.

Following on from the recent digitisation of 9 Latin manuscripts, we have just finished the photography of Latin MS 53, Christianus Prolianus’ ‘Astronomia’, from 1478. This stunning manuscript is a study of the solar system, astronomy and eclipses. Not only does it include beautiful diagrams of the planets as shown above, the illumination throughout is quite beautiful, including details of parrots and other flora and fauna, which is said to have inspired William Morris, one of the manuscripts former owners, in his design work.

A detail of the illumination of folio 24r showing 2 parrots

Once the images have been edited, as ever it will be uploaded into LUNA for all to see. Watch this space for more details.

The Solar System, with Earth at the centre. Followed by water, air, fire, the Moon. Mercury, Venus, the Sun, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn.

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Latin Manuscript Digitisation

The Apostles, Matthew Mark Luke and John. Latin MS 30

We’ve been pretty busy in the studio over the past few weeks, particularly working on digitising 10 latin Manuscripts. Most notably,  Latin MSS  29-30, Nicholas Of Lyra’s ‘Postillae’, a commentary on the bible. These 3 beautifully illuminated volumes date back to around 1402 in Italy. Also, Latin MS 6, Peter Lombard’s Commentary  on the Psalms, from 12th Century Germany, has the incredible binding below. All 10 volumes will be available on LUNA in the near future.

The gold and jewelled cover of Latin MS 6

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