Medieval Latin Manuscripts in the National Library: cataloguing and digitization
The National Library of Sweden is home to a large collection of more than 300 medieval Latin manuscripts, produced in medieval Sweden and Europe. The manuscripts date from the eighth to the sixteenth centuries and preserve works on theology, law and medicine as well as ancient texts with medieval commentary. Their exact contents are, however, still unknown, since they have not been systematically catalogued. The purpose of this infrastructural project is to create a state-of-the-art digital catalogue of the 190 theological manuscripts, the largest group in the collection, including a full digitization of every manuscript page. All data produced in the project will be incorporated into “Manuscripta”, a national infrastructure for medieval and early modern manuscripts developed and maintained by the National Library of Sweden. The manuscript descriptions will be encoded in TEI (Text Encoding Initiative), the international standard metadata format for digital cataloguing of manuscripts and well suited for detailed scientific cataloguing of manuscripts. The digitized manuscripts will be made accessible using the IIIF standard, enabling the material to be transferred and used in other digital environments, which opens up this material for further research by scholars everywhere. Since the medieval Latin scriptural culture was truly pan-European, not limited by national or linguistic borders, it is necessary to make a nation’s Latin material internationally available.