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About the Project

Purpose and Scope

The Digital Library of Illuminated Manuscripts enables institutions that may have only one or a few of these documents to participate in a digital project without the need for them to develop the technology or expertise to support such an effort. Through the power of the Internet these locally known resources will be made accessible to an international audience.


Participants are responsible for the cost of manuscript digitization. As the host of this project, Lehigh University 's Digital Library will provide the hardware, software, server space and expertise needed to store and display the project's digital images.

Before having a work digitized, the contributing institution should send a description of the manuscript under consideration to Lehigh's Digital Library. A Digital Library team member will be glad to discuss and clarify participation issues.

Manuscript Display

At present the project is only considering manuscripts of octavo size or smaller. Larger formats may be considered in the future. Manuscript fragments will also be considered for the project.

The entire manuscript will be displayed, including all parts of the binding as well as blank leaves. Visitors to the site will be given the option of browsing the collection or searching by institution, manuscript type, century, country of origin, or document features (miniatures and decorations).


All images displayed are derived from 600 dpi color tiffs scanned directly from the manuscript. If an institution already has digital images, they should submit these to the Digital Library to make sure they match the technical standards of the project. Scans made from microfilm will probably not be satisfactory.

In order to maintain technical standards and offer participants convenient and reliable digitizing services, Preservation Service Center , a subsidiary of OCLC, in Bethlehem , Pa. , is pleased to offer its services to project participants.

For more information about the project, contact the Digital Library digitlib@lehigh.edu.

Updated: 25 February 2005

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