Wednesday, January 16, 2013

creative resource: British Library Illuminated Manuscripts now online

The British Library has just put online their illuminated manuscripts, both images and information. Since the Library holds one the richest collections of medieval and renaissance manuscripts in the world, this is a rich resource.

Since I’m currently working on the Emmaus Road, a search produced 8 images. Here is one from a Psalter, England, Central (Oxford); 1st quarter of the 13th century, before 1220. (I love how the legs are disappearing up, a reference perhaps to Ascension. Also love the fish on the table, a creative addition to the normal bread/eucharistic references).

This is one of 56 images in the Psalter. Imagine a Bible with 56 coloured images, hand crafted. Such a contrast to the text only versions that currently dominate the market! That surely says something about creativity and value and provides food for current Bible reading practices. (For more of my reflections on this theme, see faith shaped by art not words)

By contrast, here is one from Bruges, Belgium, in the 1400s, where we were a few weeks ago.

Of even more interest/usefulness is their public domain copyright policy –

The Catalogue of Illuminated Manuscripts content is now available for download and reuse. Although still technically in copyright in the UK (and a number of other common law territories) the images are being made available under a Public Domain Mark* which indicates that there are no copyright restrictions on reproduction, adaptation, republication or sharing of the content available from the site.

Posted by steve at 08:18 AM

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