Bibliotheca Palatina - digital
"The University Library of Heidelberg has digitized and has made available on the Internet its collection of German manuscripts from the ”Bibliotheca Palatina“, one of the most valuable collections of Medieval and Early Modern manuscripts. The collection counts 848 codices with approximately 270.000 pages and 7.000 miniatures, most of them not indexed before. This ambitious project was made possible through the generous financial support of the external link Manfred-Lautenschläger-Stiftung gGmbH. [...] The text pages and illustrations of the codices are interesting for researches in the fields of German Studies, History, Art History, History of Law, History of Medicine, History of Science and Theology and can be consulted online. All digitized manuscripts are linked to a central page. In addition all illustrations have been registered and indexed in the image database HeidICON which allows to retrieve illustrations by free-text search, subject search, iconocraphic motifs, authors/artists and text groups." Researchers are able to know about new entries in the digital library using specific RSS Feeds. "Due to the digitization of the so called Codices Palatini Germanici the University Library of Heidelberg establishes its role as a fore runner within the German library and research scene. On an international level the Library takes its place between other well-known institutions and their digitization projects (Bibliothèque Nationale in Paris, British Library in London, Pierpont Morgan Library in New York, Oxford University). The Digitization Team of Heidelberg University Library works with two camera tables equipped with high-resolution digital cameras. The technical equipment of the camera tables (so called "Graz Model" because the table has been developed by the University Library of Graz, Austria) allows the digitization of fragile objects in a very careful way (no mechanical stress by a glass top e.g.). Camera tabel 'Graz Model' A laser ray helps to find the optimum position for the manuscript on the camera table and opened pages are fixed by the soft suction of the vacuum equipment. Distortions can be minimized by positioning the camera at right angles to the manuscript pages. In the course of the project the digitization laboratory was equipped with a second camera table with modern technology (digital camera Canon 1Ds Mark II, resolution: 16,7 Mio. of pixels). The Manfred Lautenschläger Stiftung made possible the upgrade of an existing camera table with a similar Canon camera. All digitized images are converted into TIFF format and enhanced with a professional image editor to guarantee that colour balance, brightness, contrast and sharpness correspond to the original manuscript image. By using a method called "electronic binding" we obtain a presentation model of a complete virtual manuscript with the original pagination. Users can leaf through the manuscript and zoom into details."

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Saturday, 17 March 2012 - 10:19pm
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