Glasgow Incunabula project update (2/11/12)

It may have been June since we last blogged about the Glasgow Incunabula Project, but just in case you think we have been kicking our heels on some kind of extended holiday, I assure you that work “behind the scenes” has been continuing apace.

page from Pseudo-Boethius

Pseudo-Boethius: De disciplina scholarium Cologne: Heinrich Quentell, 1490 (the only British isles copy: Sp Coll BC14-c.11)

Jack Baldwin, our project researcher, has been progressing well with examining and describing the books and we have been continuing to add records to the main library catalogue and images to the incunabula flickr set.

Meanwhile, we have been overhauling the structure of the project website, splitting the many pages that had become too long and unwieldy for our system to cope with. We were unable to add records and index data while this work was ongoing, but we are now delighted to be able to start uploading records again, and we are extremely grateful to Robert Brown (the Library’s Web Services Co-ordinator) for all the hard work he has put into the project website over the past few months.

During the blogging absence, Jack and I attended a very interesting workshop on provenance organised by the Historic Libraries Forum at the Middle Temple Library in London. We gave a joint presentation on the Glasgow Incunabula Project, demonstrating the website and highlighting a number of books with complex provenances. It was very gratifying to spread the GiP word to such an enthusiastic audience, and it was also very pleasant to spend some time at the British Library endeavouring to get to the bottom of some of the many mysteries that inevitably arise in delving into the histories of books. Even when we think a book is adequately described, there is often more information that can be added, and some time spent in comparing copies and examining annotated book sales catalogues was very worthwhile.

Updates and unanswered research queries notwithstanding, we are now approximately half way through adding records to the website. We are confident that with all the recent rejigging, its structure will now withstand the huge of amount of data and links generated in describing our one thousand plus books. We have also now enlisted our new(ish) Graduate Trainee, Fiona Laird, into helping with the site, so it is full steam ahead!

coat of arms

Unidentified coat of arms from Nicolaus Salernitanus: Antidotarium. Venice: Nicolaus Jenson, 1471. Can you help? (Sp Coll Ferguson Am-z.41)

So, after our virtual break, here are links to the latest ten records to be added to the project website. As you will see, we have the usual fascinating mix of intriguing provenances and beautifully illustrated books, and (did I mention our many unanswered questions?) an unidentified coat of arms, as shown above. Please get in touch if you can help!



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  1. Glasgow Incunabula Project update (20/11/12) « University of Glasgow Library

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