Having trouble reading this email? You can view it online

e-codices newsletter

The e-codices newsletter provides information about the latest updates, highlights, and activities of our project and appears about 4-5 times per year.
We are delighted to count you among our readers!

The e-codices team

In this issue
  1. Another important milestone: 1'500 digital manuscripts edited on e-codices
  2. Index of Authors becomes Person Index
  3. Another manuscript from the 'Comites Latentes'
  4. Sustainability: A long and complex undertaking
  5. News from Fragmentarium
  6. Happy Easter
March 2016

Issue N° 23
Another important milestone: 1'500 digital manuscripts edited on e-codices
Over the past ten years, e-codices has published about 15% of Swiss medieval manuscripts in digital form; this is a total of 1,500 manuscripts, about 1,300 from the medieval period. For more than 350 manuscripts, new scientific descriptions were prepared in collaboration with curators and a large scientific community. Christoph Flüeler, founder and director of e-codices, states: “What matters most to us has never been the sheer number of manuscripts or how often each digital manuscript is consulted, although these numbers really are impressive. Much more important to us is meeting the demands of research and kindling new demand, using technology to strike out in new directions, and changing how manuscripts are regarded. For us, the diligence that goes into a critical edition of a text also remains the model for the edition of a digital manuscript”. Flüeler explained this as follows in a recent article: “A digital manuscript edition should, like a critical text edition, follow documented scholarly research criteria and not produce a plain, unexamined reproduction of the material object […] <it should> create some added value […] <and> should obviously provide a reliable foundation for current research of the original manuscript” (see Flüeler, “Digital manuscripts as critical edition.” - http://schoenberginstitute.org/2015/06/30/digital-manuscripts-as-critical-edition).


Our map with our partner libraries – 57 Swiss institutions are collaborating with e-codices


“The Digital Libraries Heat Map is, possibly, the most fascinating of our maps: it shows where the digitization of medieval manuscripts is being done most effectively, and which are the areas in the world that are lagging behind.” DMMmaps - http://digitizedmedievalmanuscripts.org/maps

Index of Authors becomes Person Index
Previously e-codices recorded only author names with authority files. All names received a GND-number (Gemeinsame Normdatei, Universal Authority File) so that different variants of a name, particularly common with medieval authors, could be identified as one specific author.
With the new update, the author index will successively be expanded to become a person index. In addition to the author, the following person roles will also be systematically recorded from now on: commentator, translator, scribe, illuminator, bookbinder, annotator, patron, former possessor, librarian, seller ; restorer-conservator and describer will come soon.
In future, work titles, entities, locations and even manuscripts (!) will be provided with authority files and will be captured via a special account by the GND (Gemeinsame Normdatei, Universal Authority File).
Another manuscript from the 'Comites Latentes'
In his metric letter (Epist. I, vi), Petrarch referred to his beloved books as „comites latentes“ (hidden friends). Likewise did the owner refer thus to his collection of manuscripts, which Christopher de Hamel in 1985 called „probably the largest privately-owned library of illuminated manuscripts put together by a living collector“. Today at the behest of the Comites Latentes Foundation, 145 manuscripts and 67 fragments are held as deposits in the Bibliothèque de Genève. This, the eighth manuscript of that collection, contains a hagiographic compilation. Several texts are attributed to Wauchier de Denain. The manuscript was written in Paris in the early 14th century; it was illuminated by the so-called Master Jean de Papeleu.

Genève, Bibliothèque de Genève, Comites Latentes 102, f. 2r – Vita plurimorum sanctorum apostolorum martirum confessorum atque virginum (Lives of the saints)

Sustainability: A long and complex undertaking