Stanford, Cambridge put medieval manuscripts online

Stanford University on Thursday announced a partnership with Cambridge University in Great Britain that will make more than 500 medieval and Renaissance manuscripts from Britain available online.

A total of 538 manuscripts from the sixth through the 16th centuries will be available for viewing at http://parkerweb.stanford.edu by 2009. Currently, approximately one-sixth of the manuscripts can be found on the Web site, according to a university announcement.

Stanford officials began negotiating with officials at Corpus Christi, a college at Cambridge University, in 2001 about putting the contents of the college’s Parker Library online.

“What we brought to the table was a comprehension of what it takes to make a project succeed-from concept to being fundable by a grant agency. We knew about digitization and process-how to roll up our sleeves and get it done,” Stanford University Libraries Director of Communications Andrew Herkovic said.

Members of the public who want to view digital images of manuscripts from the time of Beowulf will have until the end of 2008 to use the Web site. However, once the site is fully developed it will become subscription-only for academic and research institutions, according to the university.

The partnership is funded by $5.6 million in grants from the Gladys Krieble Delmas and Andrew W.Mellon foundations.

— Bay City News

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