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HUMI Project Successfully Digitizes Two More Sets of the Gutenberg Bible

Update:Dec. 14, 2005

The HUMI Project has succeeded in the complete digital photography of two more copies of the Gutenberg Bible, one from the collection of the National Library of Scotland in Edinburgh and the other held by the Bavarian State Library in Munich, Germany. This digital photography was carried out as part of the research activities of the "Digitization of Gutenberg Bibles at European Libraries" project (headed by Professor Toshiyuki Takamiya, Professor of the Faculty of Letters and HUMI Project Director), supported by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology's Open Research Center (ORC) project.

At the beginning of July this year, a seven-member digital photography team, led by HUMI Project Researcher Masaaki Kashimura (Associate Professor, DMC), was dispatched to the National Library of Scotland. The team took three weeks to photograph the Gutenberg Bible (two volumes, approximately 1,300 pages) using a 22 megapixel high resolution digital camera to create digital facsimiles. The team also photographically enlarged hand-written decorative capital letters drawn in a unique style thought to have originated in Erfurt, Germany.

Between the end of October and the beginning of November this year, a slightly larger ten-member digital photography team, also led by Researcher Masaaki Kashimura, was dispatched to the Bavarian State Library for three weeks. Using the same methods as before, the team photographed the library's Gutenberg Bible to create images for digital facsimiles. The team also digitally photographed a copy of the Tabula Rubricarum, one of only two in existence, held by the Bavarian State Library. The Tabula Rubricarum is an eight-page index containing hand-written additions to the text, originally sent out together with the Gutenberg Bible.

The HUMI Project has received international acclaim for its development of an original method of photographing rare books using a custom-made book cradle and camera stand. This time, the project succeeded in digitizing copies of the Gutenberg Bible at two well-known research libraries. As a result of these activities, the HUMI Project has now acquired high resolution digital images of sixteen copies of the Gutenberg Bible from seven libraries and institutions, including the Keio University collection. These images are now being used for comparative bibliographical research in order to better understand the mysteries surrounding the development of the art of printing. The digital facsimiles are due to be completed by spring 2006 and will be available on the websites of the libraries that currently hold the original versions during 2006.

In September this year, the HUMI Project also sent a team to the Chester Beatty Library in Dublin, Ireland to digitize Nara Ehon(Nara picture books) in their collection as part of the ORC "Digitization of Nara Ehon at European Libraries" project (headed by Professor Toru Ishikawa of the Faculty of Letters). On their third three-week visit, the digital photography team successfully digitized over twenty picture manuscripts. The project continues to make breakthroughs related to the digital archiving of precious books, using extremely high quality digital images to preserve internationally important historical books.

HUMI Project Successfully Digitizes Two More Sets of the Gutenberg Bible
HUMI Project Successfully Digitizes Two More Sets of the Gutenberg Bible

HUMI Project Successfully Digitizes Two More Sets of the Gutenberg Bible
HUMI Project Successfully Digitizes Two More Sets of the Gutenberg Bible

HUMI Project Successfully Digitizes Two More Sets of the Gutenberg Bible
HUMI Project Successfully Digitizes Two More Sets of the Gutenberg Bible

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