Digital Scriptorium Returns to Berkeley

Manuscript depicting Guidonian hand with somization syllables from UCB's Hargrove Music Library

Early this fall, the Digital Scriptorium, UC Berkeley, and Columbia University quietly announced the return of the Digital Scriptorium to its original home at Berkeley.

The Digital Scriptorium is a contribuitive image and cataloging database that unites the medieval and Renaissance manuscript holdings of a growing number of American libraries. It began in 1997 with a grant from the Mellon Foundation and the combined resources of Berkeley and Columbia; present membership includes thirty institutions with over 5000 manuscripts and 27,000 images, all freely available on the web. Member institutions include the Huntington Library, New York Public Library, the Houghton Library at Harvard, and the Ransom Center at the University of Texas. During its six-year tenure as host to the Digital Scriptorium, Columbia also contributed to the database’s increasing strength. Berkeley libraries that have digitized some of their manuscripts for the DS include the Bancroft Library, the Robbins Collection, and the Hargrove Music Library.

DS aficionados will notice that there are more records, more images, and cleaner descriptions: there’s been lots of editing by lots of partners in the years since the last refreshing of the web site. New partners, too! The Lilly Library of Indiana University, the University of Vermont, General Theological Seminary of New York, the Walters Art Museum, all have begun to add records and images; and DS has its first overseas member – the American Academy in Rome. The coming year will see the first presence of descriptions and images from the Beinecke Library of Yale University and possibly other new partners.

New Library Subject Pages

Some of you may have already noticed that the three subject home pages for the Romance Language Collections have gradually taken on a new look and feel this fall. This is part of an effort in the Doe/Moffitt Libraries to transform the functionality of the former static html pages. While the content may appear the same, open-source Library à la Carte software, developed at Oregon State University enables us to quickly update the content and repurpose some of the content modules to create dynamic library course guides such as French 142AC: the Cultures of Franco-America, French 102: Writing in French, Italian 5B, and Spanish 107: Survey of Spanish Literature .

Continue reading “New Library Subject Pages”

Happy OA Week, Galicia 21


As Open Access Week comes to a close, it provides the opportunity to mention a few OA journals in the Romance languages that have recently been added to UC’s shared discovery tools like Melvyl and the E-journal Titles A-Z list. There’s Galicia 21: Journal of Contemporary Galician Studies a refereed electronic journal co-sponsored by the Centre for Galician Studies in Wales (Bangor University) and Cardiff University, Catalan Historical Review – the international journal of the History and Archaeology Section of the Institut d’Estudis Catalans (IEC), Estudios de sociolingüística: linguas, sociedades e culturas from Vigo, Spain, Italique – a Swiss journal for the study of Italian Renaissance poetry, Flaubert: revue critique et génétique, the Cahiers de narratologie, and many many more. Open Access is transforming models of publishing and bringing scholarly content to our desktops in ways traditional print and subscription-based publications cannot.