Thursday, July 5, 2012

CC licenses for photography of manuscripts

If you're interested in manuscripts of Greek and Latin texts, this week saw a seismic shift in the scholarly landscape.  The e-codices project, which has been putting high-quality digital images of manuscripts in Switzerland on the web for several years, has now standardized on a Creative Commons license for all of its images.

In this decision, they are following the lead of a growing number of projects and institutions.  I greatly admire the similar work Will Noel has done at the Walters Art Gallery, where high-resolution photography of more than 250 manuscripts is on line, available under a CC license.

Photographed manuscripts now in e-codices number more than 900.  Like the Digital Walters Art Gallery, manuscript photography in e-codices is accompanied by a scholarly catalog entry.

The digital archivists are doing their job.  Now the only question is whether we can find the scholars of Greek, Latin and other languages to read these beautifully documented texts.  

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