The National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) has granted the Walters Art Museum $265,000 for a three-year project to digitize, catalog and distribute 113 illuminated medieval manuscripts from Flanders, present-day northeastern France and Belgium. This project, Imaging the Hours: Creating a Digital Resource of Flemish Manuscripts, will digitize 45,000 pages of text with over 3,000 pages of illumination from the 13th through 16th centuries. A highlight will be the digitization of a collection of 80 Books of Hours—prayer books of personal devotion—which were the “bestsellers” of the Middle Ages, often sumptuously illuminated in gold and painted by masters of the time.
“Just as the Walters provides access without admission fee to our permanent collection, we are also making it available as part of our public mission. The museum is grateful to the NEH for its continued generous financial support allowing us to provide a free worldwide online resource of preservation-quality, digital manuscript surrogates to anyone with an Internet connection,” said Walters Director Gary Vikan.
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