Walters Art Museum’s Armenian Manuscripts To Be Digitized


March 28, 2012 – 16:59 AMT

PanARMENIAN.Net – The National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH)
has granted the Walters Art Museum in Baltimore, Maryland’, U.S.,
$265,000 for a three-year project to digitize, catalog and distribute
113 illuminated medieval manuscripts from Flanders, present-day
northeastern France and Belgium, Artdaily reports.

This project, Imaging the Hours: Creating a Digital Resource of Flemish
Manuscripts, will digitize 45,000 pages of text with over 3,000 pages
of illumination from the 13th through 16th centuries. A highlight
will be the digitization of a collection of 80 Books of Hours –
prayer books of personal devotion – which were the “bestsellers” of
the Middle Ages, often sumptuously illuminated in gold and painted
by masters of the time.

“Just as the Walters provides access without admission fee to our
permanent collection, we are also making it available as part of our
public mission. The museum is grateful to the NEH for its continued
generous financial support allowing us to provide a free worldwide
online resource of preservation-quality, digital manuscript surrogates
to anyone with an Internet connection,” said Walters Director Gary
Vikan. The NEH’s Humanities Collections and Reference Resources Grant
allows institutions to preserve and provide access to collections
essential to scholarship, education and public programming in the

This grant allows the museum to continue its ambitious initiative to
create, preserve and make accessible fully cataloged digital surrogates
of its manuscripts. This initiative began in 2008 with a $307,500 NEH
Preservation and Access Grant to digitize its Islamic manuscripts and
continues with a second NEH grant of $315,000 for Parchment to Pixel:
Creating a Resource of Medieval Manuscripts, to digitize the museum’s
Armenian, Byzantine, Dutch, English, Ethiopian and German manuscripts.

To date, the Walters has taken 79,319 images of 112 Islamic manuscripts
and 105 Parchment to Pixel manuscripts.

From: A. Papazian