I’ve pointed some mirroring software at the Centre for Hellenic Studies site where they have online some high-resolution images of the Venetus A manuscript of the Iliad. It’s been downloading images for the last three hours, and has managed a princely 37 files so far. It might take a while, methinks!
The reason is that the images are around 17mb each. They’re splendid, make no mistake. I opened one using the Windows browser and zoomed in, and quite by accident got text reading “ILIADOS A” – the start of the Iliad. The commentary in the margin is clearly visible, although a bit faded, but no doubt some graphics manipulations — perfectly possible with such high-resolution images — would make them all brilliantly clear.
But I doubt many people will download a copy. Broadband technology just is not up to it yet.
It reminds me of the late 90’s, when we all wanted to put images online but all we had was dial-up connections. A few things did make their way online, but were painful to get hold of. It required a step-change in internet access speeds before multimedia and PDF’s and such like could become commonplace.
Similarly mss photographed like this will remain limited in number for now. But their time will come!
We can only congratulate the CHS for their foresight in making these available. These are treasures, and signal the next stage of the development of the web.