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Digital Scriptorium (DS) is a growing organization of institutional partners with collections of medieval and Renaissance manuscripts. DS provides an online union catalog of these collections and thus unites scattered resources from many institutions into an international tool for teaching and scholarly research. As a digital image repository, the DS website allows users to verify with their own eyes descriptive metadata about places and dates of origin, scripts, artists, and decoration. Special emphasis is placed on identifying touchstone materials, such as manuscripts signed and dated by their scribes. DS records also include manuscripts that traditionally would have been unlikely candidates for exhibition or reproduction in print.
The DS website enables free and open access of historically significant but often understudied manuscript materials. It fosters public viewing of rare materials otherwise available only within libraries. It also supports searches across multi-institutional holdings through a shared metadata schema. Because our records include persistent URLs, DS encourages direct citation to these and enables a reciprocal flow of information among scholars and collection managers. Many DS records also link out to the websites and digital repositories of our member institutions, where users can discover further information and images about the manuscripts in their home collections.
Collectively DS data bridges the gap between needs and resources through a network of member institutions with common interests and shared user communities. As a national organization, DS looks to the needs of a very diverse community of professional scholars, as well as students, hobbyists, booksellers, and collectors—anyone with an interest in pre-modern manuscripts. DS welcomes new members and encourages institutions both large and small to join our efforts to enhance accessibility to rare manuscript materials. For further information about membership please see Finances.
For more information about DS see our article in Wikipedia.