08 March 2010
Which manuscripts should we digitise?
Detail from the Golden Canon Tables, Add MS 5111/1
The obvious answer to this question is: all of them! We all want access to free digital resources, but creating them is tempered by a series of practical considerations. How can we best deliver digitised manuscripts to your desktops? One answer is to secure funding for independent digitisation projects with achievable goals. Such a series of projects has to be placed squarely within a vision and strategy. At the start of each one we have to ask ourselves: which manuscripts should we digitise next? For the first phase of the Greek Manuscripts Digitisation Project, we chose 250 manuscripts which offered a good range of all the different types and included some notable highlights of the collection. Before the Project, these manuscripts were among the least accessible since they had not been catalogued to modern standards. We are very grateful to the Stavros Niarchos Foundation for funding the first phase of the Greek Manuscripts Digitisation Project, supporting our vision, and making our work possible.
It is, however, crucial that we also engage you. Here’s how. Contact me to answer the following question: which particular Greek manuscripts held by the British Library would you like to see digitised and why? I cannot promise that your favourite manuscript will be in the next phase, but I can assure you that your feedback will inform our decision.