Digital Image Archive of Medieval Music (DIAMM)
The University of Oxford, and the Royal Holloway University of London created this "portal to worldwide collections of medieval polyphonic music manuscripts (the resource does not include plainchant). The music and the manuscripts date from approx 800 to 1550, and the original documents are kept in libraries and archives around the globe. This website includes detailed information for all the known sources of European polyphonic music (which is almost entirely vocal) and high-quality colour images of some manuscripts. Not all manuscripts have been digitized, and even where digital images are available we do not always have permission from the owners to deliver their images. [...] On the website you can: * view the list of countries, libraries and manuscript shelf marks through 'Browse Archive'; * perform a search for a manuscript or library that you already know about; * consult entries from the published catalogues of medieval music and get library contact details by 'entering' a particular library from the 'Browse Archive' menu; * register as a user online instantly (for free) and view the full-size images through our image-viewer; * use DIAMM annotation and text transcription tools to create a collection of images, to which returning when log in again. "You will find a rich and varied collection of images here, and a vast database describing each medieval music manuscript in detail. The database is a work in progress and its scope will be widened as resources allow. It is organised currently only by the libraries in which the manuscripts are kept, although you can search by date (e.g. 14th century) or by country of origin ('Provenance', e.g. Germany, Holland, etc.)."From its beginnings in 1998, the purpose of the Digital Image Archive of Medieval Music (DIAMM) was to obtain and archive digital images of European sources of medieval polyphonic music, captured directly from the original document. The purposes were (1) conservation and protection against loss, especially of vulnerable fragments, and (2) to enable libraries to supply the best possible quality of images to scholars. High-quality direct digital capture ensures a level of detail and colour accuracy that is not possible from scans of surrogates such as slides or glossy photographs. In particular, this type of imaging is crucial to detailed study. Normal single-shot digital photography usually captures at a maximum of 7-11 Megapixels. The imaging used by DIAMM captures at a maximum of 144 Megapixels. This extremely high resolution is necessary for digital restoration. Where there is damage that makes these sources difficult to read, detailed restoration of copies of the original images is possible, to improve legibility and scholarly access. The project started as a collaboration between scholars at the University of Oxford and Royal Holloway, University of London, and is now based in Oxford in collaboration with the University Music Faculty and the Bodleian Library. DIAMM has created an electronic archive of more than 14,000 images, to assure their permanent preservation, and is able to present a significant number of them through this website to facilitate detailed study of this music and its sources. [...] The sources archived include all the currently known fragmentary sources of polyphony up to 1550 in the UK (almost all of these are available for study through this website); all the ‘complete’ manuscripts in the UK; a small number of important representative manuscripts from continental Europe; a significant portion of fragments from 1300-1450 from Belgium, France, Italy, Switzerland and Spain. ..."

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Saturday, 17 March 2012 - 10:27pm
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