Manuscripts online now at the VMR

Lots of Syriac, Arabic, Coptic and Persian mss are starting to appear at the VMR, here.  Contents contain all sorts of things; service books, bits of the bible, homilies, and so on.

When I first looked, I was using IE6 and couldn’t see any images.  But with Firefox it’s fine, even from behind a corporate firewall.  The images are nice, colour and clear enough to read the text and see the rubrics.  In short they are ideal for study purposes.

One less good feature is that you can’t resize the viewing window.  Often the whole image is larger than this, which means that you have to drag it around to see the whole opening.  This is undesirable.

The user interface is a bit clunky.  What you get is a list of manuscript shelfmarks.  Not having memorised the three volume Mingana handbook, I’d like to see a quick summary of contents.  In fact it would be nice if there was some way for me to enter the catalogue description in text form — it’s a PDF — so that I don’t have to click on a link, click on a PDF, just to see what each ms. contains.  But early days yet.  These are teething problems only.

Thanks for Tommy Wasserman at ETS for the update.


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