Thursday, May 23, 2013

Medieval Manuscripts Online

I have written in prior blogs on the many advances in digitizing old media. This movement continues to make available hidden treasures to a much wider audience. Yes, actually being in the presence of these materials will always be the ultimate goal. Still though, getting the chance to actually see these documents from afar is a triumph of modern technology.

I fully understand that this is nothing new, but still I marvel at the images when I see them. What I have for you today is the Medieval Document Collection of Western Michigan University. I really love when these gems find their way to me. There are a good number of documents online, but what I found most fascinating was prayer book written by and for nuns.

The Luna Imaging technology is amazing on how they brought the book to life. Note, for those of you who know of my antipathy for ebooks, this is the exception to the rule. This is a book which obviously one cannot take home and add to your personal library without doing time in Sam Quinton (Yes, I know it is San Quentin! I call it Sam Quinton!!).

The book is a beautiful document. Should you be highly skilled in Latin and Flemish you can actually read it too. Sorry, Sir Kate, my Latin is just not that good; however, I fully appreciated the book's presence. This is medieval art and literature and, oh, how I love it.

A funny thing, one often thinks of monks and fraternal orders performing scrivener's work - and not nuns. This was an interesting discovery to see that, at least in the 1500's, women had a role in the making of books. I wonder if they bound the book as well? Interesting.

Here is the book which I invite you to enjoy. Prayer Book for Nuns

And here is a screen shot I captured of the book... enjoy!

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