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Thursday, December 16, 2010

Pilgrims Reunited

I've blogged before about some of the ways the Rosenbach makes its collection accessible online, such as, Phil , our online fine/decorative arts catalog, and Manuscripts Online, which provides high quality images and transcriptions of selected items from our Americana collection. But you may not know that from time to time the Rosenbach also participates in other institutions' online projects.

One such project is " In the Bigynnyng" at The Rylands Library at the University in Manchester. "In the Bigynnyng" will digitize all 41 medieval manuscripts in the Rylands collection (c 12,000 images) and make them publicly available via a dedicated project website. So how does this involve the Rosenbach, you ask?

One of the items in the Rylands collection is a two-leaf fragment from a 15th-century manuscript of the Canterbury Tales, which includes a wonderful picture of the Miller. It's such a nice picture that it's showcased right on the project homepage.

Part of the Miller's Tale from Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer. JRL022709tr

As it so happens, the Rosenbach has eleven leaves from the same manuscript, including images of the Man of Law and the Cook.
Geoffrey Chaucer, Canterbury Tales. England, 15th century. MS 1084/2

So what we're going to do is have our leaves scanned at the Regional Digital Imaging Center at the Philadelphia Athenaeum, using their wonderful high-resolution overhead scanner. Then we can send the images across the pond and the wandering pilgrims will be digitally reunited on the Rylands site!

All of this update is really an excuse to share a great Canterbury Tales parody video by some talented high school history teachers from Hawaii. If you like this one, you can find more videos on their Youtube Channel.(Hat tip to the AHA blog).

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