Really Important: tell the British Library which manuscripts you want to see online

Juan Garces is inviting suggestions for manuscripts to be digitised here.

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? …

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.

Basically Juan has to go out and bid for money.  So if you have an idea for some manageable-size “project” that would attract funding easily, tell him.  If you have a bunch of manuscripts in mind, tell him.

I notice that the Stavros Niarchus Foundation is funding the first tranche.  We have, perhaps, overlooked the “wealthy Greek shipowner” angle on all this.  The manuscripts — the physical books — are the remains of Greek culture as it was in the middle ages, and record that culture from still earlier stages.  Why shouldn’t this Greek culture be online?


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