Monthly Archives: March 2014


I’ve seen a startling number of beasties hiding out in our Collections over the years, and the time has come to celebrate them! From the delightful details in the margins of Books of Hours…


…to the damsels in distress being rescued from fantastical monsters.


It is also wonderful to see the same story illustrated from 2 very different traditions: St. George and the Dragon in a Book of Hours circa 1500 and made in France for a Scottish owner…0001121f

…or the strikingly different St. George and the Dragon in the Ethiopian Manuscript Gadala Georgois.0001205d

It doesn’t appear to matter where in the world -West, East, or South America- every nation has its own set of Beasties.

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Some are fairly conventional sea monsters…


…  and some just down right bizarre,


yet all bring a smile to my day!

Susan Pettigrew


New Ways Of Seeing

0004187eA large part of what we do in the Digital Imaging Unit is fulfilling digitisation requests from all over the world from researchers and academics who want access to our collections. This week one request required three images from  Ms 195  “Poems Of Virgil” , which is part of the University’s Western Medieval Manuscripts Collection. The detail of the Heron ? or Crane? struck me as an astounding piece of work. The economy of line used to describe the plumage and structure of the bird is very accomplished. I felt this image is worth sharing in detail as it highlights the quality of visual literacy preserved within our collections. The detail also highlights that high quality capture of these works can aid discovery and give us insight into the material. If you compare the detail to the full image via the link to Ms 195 you can see how easily this information could be lost to the eye. The high quality capture provided by top of the range Hasselblad cameras gives us new “ways of seeing” the collections that in turn has multiple applications.

Malcolm Brown

Deputy Photographer


French Bible Historial Now Available in Book Reader


When we started at the DIU at the beginning 2004, a project to digitise a beautiful French Bible known to us as Ms 19 was already half completed, our first job was to finish it. Once this was done it was archived up to server space, and sadly, for many years, forgotten. Which is why I am delighted to announce that it is now available in Book Reader format here . Our volunteer Ellisa Manahova – Panagiotaki has been very busy preparing the images to go into the book reader- all 966 pages. Furthermore, volunteer Jessica Macaulay has been working on enhancing the metadata for us, which we hope to add in the coming months.

The Bible has some fantastic illuminations, including ones where God has, in an act of very polite censorship, been removed with gold paint. Enjoy!

Susan Pettigrew

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