Thursday, October 7

Anjou Bible c 1340: fully digitalized and accessible

Museum M in Leuven, Belgium, presents an exhibition which features the Anjou Bible, c 1340. In their own words:


Image via Museum M

The Anjou Bible - Naples 1340 – a royal manuscript revealed presents the superbly illuminated pages of a little-known manuscript created at the unruly Royal Court of Naples in the turbulent fourteenth century.
The fourteenth-century Anjou Bible, was created at the court of Robert I of Anjou, King of Naples. After peregrinations in royal circles, in 1509 the book ended up on Brabantine soil. During the course of the next 500 years, this unique manuscript fell into oblivion. Until 2008. On March 10th the bible was officially recognized by the Flemish Community as 'a Masterpiece' and that year a major project was launched which involved researching and conserving the book and making it accessible to the public.
The Anjou Bible - Naples 1340 – a royal manuscript revealed comprises over a hundred sublime miniatures which are being shown to the general public for the first but also for the last time. The precious parchment folios of the Bible have been carefully taken apart to give the public the chance to admire them ‘in the flesh’. Once the exhibition is over, this fragile gem will be irrevocably re-bound and returned for safekeeping to the strongroom at the Maurits Sabbe Library of the Theology Faculty (K.U.Leuven). After that it will only be possible to view the bible online.

The entire manuscript is put online. Go to this page and click on the Book Viewer link to browse the folios. The zoom function works incredibly well!
I really appreciate this gesture. In the past, I've had some bad experiences with exhibitions of manuscripts: too crowded, too many people trying to elbow their way to the displays, not being able to get a closer view... Now I can see the manuscript while sitting in my comfy chair and drinking hot chocolate, much better!!