Thursday, February 13, 2014

Online Paleography

  I have just done one of my all too infrequent updates on the Paleography Links page of Medieval Writing. Unfortunately there seem to be more sites that have disappeared than new ones appearing. Spain and Italy in particular seem to have virtually disappeared off the paleography map. Some of the survivors are also looking a little elderly and forgotten as well. It has been pointed out before that production of online material has never been given its full regard in academic circles, and many working academics have abandoned their projects to get on with the dreaded peer reviewed olde worlde steam driven print publications in order to survive and progress.
  It is kind of flattering to find Medieval Writing at the top of some lists of paleographical resources, but a little alarming as I am not actually a professional paleographer, more a new media facilitator with an education, and I have not been able to update the site at anything like the speed I would like to. There is much weeping and wailing about the lack of interest by governments in the promotion of the humanities, but providing good quality resources for them in the media where everybody plays these days is probably a better bet than anything that governments can do.
  The latest development in manuscript studies in the media seems to involve the ever increasing provision by libraries and archives of digital facsimiles which are freely available for anyone to use. This is a wonderful thing and to be applauded mightily. Check out Sexy Codicology to find out where to find them all. Cheers to Giulio, the busiest man on the medieval internet.
  Perhaps when we have all stopped drooling over the pretty pictures that we have not been able to admire before, interest may be revived in discovering what these manuscripts are all about, and that involves being able to read them. Sure, there are intricate and erudite studies being produced in English literature departments, but they surely have a broader appeal to those interested in our history.
  OK, now which one of you pinched the steps to my soapbox? I want to get down now.

Addendum: A couple of links on Spanish paleography have been added. Thanks to  on Twitter.

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