Arabic MS 42

10 01 2011

Work has begun today on a new digitisation project ‘Gateway to the Koran of Kansuh al-Ghuri’ (funded by TIMA).  Arabic MS 42 will be fully digitised & be made freely available online.  The whole process is expected to take about 3 weeks. Please check out the project blog for updates / info.

Jim Duff assessing the Koran in Collection Care.

More incunables

5 01 2011
As mentioned previously, here is a complete list of the 57 incunables we have digitised by the Centre for Heritage Imaging & Collection Care thanks to funding by Gale Publishing.  Amongst these incunables is a copy of Thomas Malory’s Le Morte d’Arthur.  Part of the Spencer Collection, it was printed by Wynkyn de Worde on 25 March 1498.  Although our copy (JRL 15396) is imperfect, it is the only known surviving copy.
Thomas Malory’s Le Morte d’Arthur
Page from Thomas Malory’s Le Morte d’Arthur

For those Malory enthusiasts out there, please take a look at the Malory Project site.  The Malory Project is an electronic edition and commentary of Malory’s Morte Darthur (1469-70), with digital facsimiles of the Winchester Manuscript (British Library, Add. MS 59678) and John Rylands Copy of Caxton’s first edition.

More exciting digitisation plans

4 01 2011

There are several exciting digitisation projects in the pipeline for 2011:

1. The famous Mappemonde, a huge French map created in 1546.  The map, measuring 2.6 meters long, has been photographed in the past, using 5×4 equipment.  Our Phase One P65+ however, along with new techniques, will allow us to capture much more detail than the original transparencies.  Our JRUL Imaging Services team (Suzanne Fagan & Gwen Jones) will be working on this project.

French MS 1 Mappemonde

2. ‘Gateway to the Koran of Kansuh al-Ghuri’ funded by TIMA.  We will be digitising Arabic MS 42, a 16th century Koran.  The manuscript measures a whopping 84cm by 54cm.  Once described by Alphonse Mingana as “possibly the biggest Koran in the world”, all 470 leaves are highly decorated with gold leaf.  The manuscript will require us to build a special foam ‘cradle’ to support it throughout the process.  It also requires special moving and handling due to its size, and it has to be covered and held end up, as it will not fit in any of the buildings lifts laying flat!

The title page of the giant Koran