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.
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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




French MS 1, The Rochefoucauld Grail

8 12 2010
French MS1 143v

French MS1 143v

Some people may have heard of the Rochefoucauld Grail, an illuminated medieval manuscript that was recently sold by Sotheby’s for over £2 million.

These three volumes auctioned by Sotheby’s were originally part of a set of four.  The fourth and final volume is itself split between the John Rylands (French MS. 1) and the Bodleian (Douce MS. 215).

All the images of French MS 1 can be found here.





John Rylands Library Image Collection blog

16 11 2010

Check out the new blog for the John Rylands Library Image Collection – all comments gratefully received!