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Cuttings from a Medieval Italian Choirbook

- May 7, 2014 in British Library, Curator's Choice, Featured, Public Domain

James Freeman, intern in Medieval and Earlier Manuscripts Section at The British Library, looks at cuttings from a huge 14th-century Italian choirbook and how digital technology is now helping scholars build a picture of the once intact original through virtually reuniting the "diaspora" of fragments.

Cuttings from a Medieval Italian Choirbook

- May 6, 2014 in British Library, italian choirbook, manuscript, medieval

THE BRITISH LIBRARY - James Freeman explores cuttings from a huge 14th century Italian choirbook and how digital technology is now helping scholars build a picture of the once intact original through virtually reuniting the "diaspora" of fragments.

Cuttings from a Medieval Italian Choirbook

- May 6, 2014 in British Library, italian choirbook, manuscript, medieval

THE BRITISH LIBRARY - James Freeman explores cuttings from a huge 14th century Italian choirbook and how digital technology is now helping scholars build a picture of the once intact original through virtually reuniting the "diaspora" of fragments.

The British Library’s “Mechanical Curator” million

- December 19, 2013 in British Library, collections, Digital Copy: No Additional Rights, Images, Images-17th, Images-18th, Images-19th, Images-Animals, Images-Design, Images-Engraving-Line, Images-People, Images-Photography, Underlying Work: PD Worldwide

Last week the ever-incredible British Library announced that they were gifting more than 1 million images to the world, uploaded to Flickr Commons under the public domain mark, meaning complete freedom of re-use. The range and breadth of images is phenomenal. As they say in their post announcing the release the “images themselves cover a startling mix of subjects: There are maps, geological diagrams, beautiful illustrations, comical satire, illuminated and decorative letters, colourful illustrations, landscapes, wall-paintings and so much more that even we are not aware of”. Each image was extracted from its respective home (books making up a total of 65,000 already digitised volumes) by a program known as the ‘Mechanical Curator’, a creation of the British Library Labs project. A crowdsourcing application is being launched in the new year (likely using tools developed by our very own Open Knowledge Foundation!) to help describe what the images portray – and the British Library is also putting out a general plea for people to innovate new ways to navigate, find and display this incredible array of images. (Email BL Labs here). Although, of course, it will one day be wonderful to be able to sort and filter these images into […]

Music manuscripts from the 17th and 18th centuries in the British Library

- December 3, 2013 in British Library, Curator's Choice, Featured, Music Manuscripts

Dr Sandra Tuppen, curator of Music Manuscripts at the British Library, explores some highlights from their digitised collection of music manuscripts, including those penned by the hand of Haydn, Handel, Purcell, and a very messy Beethoven.

Music manuscripts from the 17th and 18th centuries in the British Library

- December 3, 2013 in beethoven, British Library, CC, classical, classical music, collections, Curator's Choice, Digital Copy: No Additional Rights, handel, haydn, Images, Music, purcell, Underlying Work: PD Worldwide

CURATOR’S CHOICE #6: SANDRA TUPPEN FROM THE BRITISH LIBRARY Sandra Tuppen, curator of Music Manuscripts at the British Library, explores some highlights from their digitised collection of music manuscripts, including those penned by the hand of Haydn, Handel, Purcell, and a very messy Beethoven. Ever since the earliest methods of notating music were devised, composers and scribes have written out music by hand – on vellum in the medieval period and subsequently on paper. (Only now is this beginning to change, with the advent of computer programs for music notation.) Even after the perfecting of music printing techniques in the 16th century, when music was printed using moveable type and later by engraving, and the burgeoning of a trade in music publishing, much music continued to be written out by hand and circulated in manuscript. Printing music was expensive, time-consuming and complex; copying out music by hand could be done relatively cheaply and quickly, especially when a few copies only of a particular composition were needed. In the 17th and 18th centuries, music was written out in manuscript for several purposes. These included the creation of ‘master copies’ from which further handwritten copies could be made when required, the provision […]

Canada Through a Lens: the British Library Colonial Copyright Collection

- July 2, 2013 in British Library, Canada, CC, collections, colonialism, copyright, Curator's Choice, Digital Copy: No Additional Rights, Europeana, Images, Images-19th, Images-20th, Images-Animals, Images-People, Images-Photography, Photography, Underlying Work: PD Worldwide, Wikimedia Commons

CURATOR’S CHOICE #1: PHIL HATFIELD AND ANDREW GRAY FROM THE BRITISH LIBRARY Phil Hatfield, British Library Curator in Canadian and Caribbean Studies, and Andrew Gray, British Library Wikipedian in Residence, kick off our brand new Curator’s Choice series by taking a look at the fascinating array of photographs in the British Library’s Canadian Colonial Copyright Collection. Copyright collections – those aggregations of published material accumulated by libraries as a result of copyright deposit laws – can provide a unique view of the world; especially when they have the opportunity to add photographs to their holdings. With minimal curatorial involvement in their selection and collection, as well as few gate keepers beyond the administration fee required to register copyright, you could say that such caches of material are a rare thing – a photographic world selected by myriad photographers themselves. This is the format of the British Library’s Colonial Copyright Collection of Canadian photographs, over 4,000 images registered for deposit and collected by the Library between 1895 and 1924. By and large the contents of the collection have been copyrighted as a result of the quality of the shot, the potential to make money from the photograph or, most likely, a […]