Saturday, October 25, 2014

Open license + an iPad mini

At the end of Open Access Week, I'd like to salute the library of Leiden University for living up to the goal of making open access the norm in scholarship.  If you work in its very pleasant setting, there are no restrictions on how you make use of out-of-copyright material.

When I visited Leiden earlier this year, I had an iPad mini with me, so I took a few quick snaps of Codex Vossianus  Graecus 1, a set of maps (perhaps sixteenth century) to accompany Ptolemy's Geography.  Thanks to the library's policies, I can make images like available as citable scholarly resources.

Leiden University, Codex Voss.Gr. 1: world map in Ptolemy's first projection

When the phone or tablet you happen to be carrying gives you photos rivaling or surpassing anything published in print, the technology is not much of a barrier.  When the default policy is that you can use your photographs as you see fit, neither is legal licensing.

(To see what's legible in a quick and poorly lit snap from an iPad mini,  see this zoomable image of folios 2-3.)

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