Friday, November 21, 2014

Slavonic digitization project.

SLAVONIC WATCH: Ancient manuscripts get a new lease of life (Georgy Manaev, Russia Beyond the Headlines)
A project is underway to digitize the most valuable books from Russian library collections. RBTH visited the scanning department of the Russian State Library to see how ancient manuscripts are being brought into the digital age.

In the mid-2000s, the Russian State Library (RSL) launched the National Electronic Library project with the aim of digitizing books published before 1831.

Many important texts have already been scanned; from the hand-written Archangel Gospel of 1092 – the fourth oldest known East Slavonic manuscript – to the Octoechos, a book of Orthodox Church psalms printed in 1491 in Krakow. It is one of the first books to use Cyrillic script and is worth several million dollars – although, of course, it belongs to the state and will not be sold. “These books only used to be released by special permission – and only then to prominent scholars,” explains Tatyana Garkushova from the library’s scanning department as she flicks between priceless ancient manuscripts on her computer screen. Now they are available to everyone at the RSL Digital Library page.

For more on Old Church Slavonic and why it is important to PaleoJudaica, see here and links. For many more manuscript digitization projects, see here and links.