The Schoenberg Institute for Manuscript Studies at Penn brings manuscript culture, modern technology and people together.


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Manuscript Monday: Play the De Ricci Digitized Archive Name Game

The following video tutorial demonstrates how to play the De Ricci Digitized Archive Name Game, a tool that creates links between bibliographer Seymour de Ricci’s handwritten notecards and name authority records in the Schoenberg Database of Manuscripts (SDBM). Left behind from De Ricci’s unfinished census of all the manuscript material in the UK, these 64,000 notecards are a treasure trove of information about the people and institutions who affected the provenance history of manuscripts. The original notecards now live in the archives of the Senate House Library at the University of London, with digitized versions accessible via the De Ricci Digitized Archive on the SDBM website. Since the SDBM also manages a local authority file with records of people and institutions who owned manuscripts, there is a lot of related information contained across both collections.

When you play the Name Game, you will create direct links between
the notecards in the De Ricci Digitized Archive and SDBM records,

thereby increasing access to both datasets and
enriching our collective knowledge of manuscript provenance.

The Name Game is fun to play because it is both productive and informative. As you read De Ricci’s notecards and search for links in the SDBM, you will encounter extra tidbits of information in addition to standard bibliographic content. For example, the card related to George Abbot, a former archbishop of Canterbury, notes that he killed a man by accident while shooting in Lord Zouch’s park in Hampshire. While this fact has little to do with Abbot’s manuscript collecting habits, it does contribute to a broader understanding of his personal life as well as De Ricci’s own interests as a bibliographer and scholar. These facts–and the choices De Ricci made in recording them–enhance our understanding of the human agents involved in both the history of manuscript provenance and bibliographical scholarship.

We have only just begun sorting through these notecards. Who knows what other trivia await? Quirky biographical facts are just the icing on the cake of this stockpile of provenance data. Join the fun via the link here. You must create a free SDBM account before you can play.

 


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Manuscript Monday: Two tutorials – an introduction to OPenn and using WGET with OPenn

Jessie Dummer, Digitization Coordinator for the Penn Library’s Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts and member of SIMS, offers two tutorials on using the University of Pennsylvania Libray’s OPenn web site.  (Both tutorials appear below and you can also use this playlist link to access them together on YouTube.)

The first tutorial is a basic introduction to OPenn.

The second tutorial shows how to use WGET to download manuscript data and images from the OPenn web site.

 

 

 


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Manuscript Monday: How to download manuscript data and images from OPenn and the Digital Walters

Dot Porter, Curator, Digital Research Services at the University of Pennsylvania Library, offers 3 video tutorials that show how to download data and images from the OPenn and Digital Walters web sites. (The 3 tutorials appear below and you can also use this playlist link to access them as a group on YouTube.)

The first tutorial shows how use the Firefox plugin “Down Them All” to download all of the page images of a manuscript from the OPenn web site.

The second tutorial shows how to download manuscript data from the OPenn web site.

The third tutorial shows how to download manuscript images and data from the Digital Walters web site.

 

 


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Collation Modeling and Visualization: Video Tutorials

Over the past year or so, a group of us at SIMS and elsewhere have been developing a system for visualizing the physical collation of medieval manuscripts. At the moment, this consists of two things:

  1. Figures that illustrate the make-up of quires: number of leaves, whether leaves are missing or added, etc.
  2. Using digital images of manuscript pages to give an idea of how a quire would look, were it disbound: showing how folios that are disjunct in a bound manuscript relate to one another when the manuscript is unbound.

Here is a screenshot of what this looks like:

BL Cotton Claudius b iv, aka the Old English Illustrated Hexateuch. Showing Quire 3 (4, +2).

BL Cotton Claudius b iv, aka the Old English Illustrated Hexateuch. Showing Quire 3 (4, +2).

You can create these yourself, for the manuscripts you are working with! You don’t even need a collation formula. You do need to be able to express the collation, or at least have an idea of which folios go in which quire. One of the nice things about this system, even in the current beta form, is that it can enable you to compare different collations for the same item. It could help you figure it out!

Instructions for building collation models and visualizing them are on Github. You won’t need to download any code, although the code is there if you are interested or curious. If you want the bifolia layout view, you will need to be able to provide an Excel spreadsheet associating folio or page numbers with image files.

Does that still sound like a lot of work? Never fear! I’ve made a set of video tutorials to walk you through the entire process. I hope these are helpful. And if you are still unsure about doing this yourself even after the videos, be aware that I’ll be leading a workshop at the International Congress on Medieval Studies in Kalamazoo, MI, next May. Maybe I’ll see you there! The videos are embedded below. Be sure to click on the “HD” button at the bottom of each video, or else the videos are very blurry.