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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. "No manuscript description without digitization!"
  2. e-codices 2017-2020
  3. More manuscripts from the Braginsky Collection
  4. Islamic manuscripts on e-codices
  5. News from Fragmentarium
  6. Season‘s Greetings
December 2016

Issue N° 27
“No manuscript description without digitization!”
A few years ago, especially in Germany, one would often hear the opposite version of the above statement: “No digitization without a corresponding manuscript description.” This meant that the task of creating detailed descriptions of manuscripts following traditional guidelines would have to be undertaken first, before one could even consider putting digital reproductions of manuscripts on the internet.
However, the past ten years have shown the opposite to be true: it no longer makes sense to prepare scholarly descriptions if they are not published on the internet together with their digital manuscripts; any other course of action would hold back research. This would not only slow the pace of manuscript digitization, it would also deprive descriptions of their most important scholarly quality: direct verifiability.
It is beyond dispute that descriptions, especially ones that are more than rudimentary, remain very important. But nowadays no description can meet contemporary demands if it is not prepared in digital form, which must of course include high-quality reproductions. The development of new kinds of descriptions must be based on digital reproductions; digitization has become the central element of scholarly descriptions.


Utopia, armarium codicum bibliophilorum, Cod. 110, f. 17r – Book of hours by the Master of Charles VIII – possibly a supplement to Utopia Cod. 111

e-codices 2017-2020
Over the past twelve years, e-codices has raised 6.9 million Swiss francs in third-party funds. And in the past four years, the support of the Swiss University Conference (SUC) program 2013-2016 P-2: “Scientific information: Access, processing and safeguarding” has enabled us to modernize e-codices, increasing interoperability and greatly expanding content.
At its meeting on 5 December 2016, the steering committee of P-2 approved another extension: e-codices will be able to continue to expand and to enhance financial and institutional security through 2020. Our next newsletter will provide more details about the completion of the current project and the goals of the upcoming project.
More manuscripts from the Braginsky Collection
With 12 new documents in this update, the number of manuscripts (Codices, Megillot and Ketubbot) from the Braginsky Collection has reached 59. Among the new items are: a calligram by Aaron Wolf Herlingen of the seven penitential psalms in Latin, depicting King David with his harp, that was written or rather drawn for Prince Joseph, later King Joseph II (1741-1790) (B316); and a Karaite ketubbah from the year 5593 (1833 A.D.) from Qirq-Yer (Chufut-Kalé in the Crimean peninsula) (K54).