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Hill Museum & Manuscript Library
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Digital manuscript preservation for scholarly research
Digital manuscript preservation for scholarly research

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Our knowledge of the past is often fragmentary. Indeed, much of what we think about and learn from the past is through fragments.
Our latest online exhibition, "Fragmented Beauty," presents manuscript fragments, spanning over 1500 years, of European and Non-European origin. Although the items in this exhibition can no longer be displayed or appreciated in their original state, their fragmented beauty still allows us to piece together their past, and preserve that knowledge for the future.

The exhibition also includes beautiful carpet pages from the Qur'an and the oldest item in our collection, a Coptic papyrus fragment from the 4th/5th century.

See the entire exhibition: http://www.hmml.org/fragmentedbeauty.html
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6/13/17
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Today in vHMML Reading Room news: the Monastery of St. George in Al-Mishtaya, Syria. Al-Mishtaya is a small village in western Syria, near Homs and the Syrian-Lebanon border. Even after the spread of Islam in the seventh century, a thriving Christian civilization stretched across the Middle East, producing literature in Syriac, Arabic, and Garshuni (Arabic written with Syriac characters). The manuscripts in this collection are reflective of the area’s history: Eastern Christian liturgical works, written in Arabic, and mostly from the 17th-19th centuries.

Sadly, the manuscripts belonging to these communities—like the communities themselves—are now highly endangered by war, terrorism, looting, black market and mass emigration.
From 2003-2012, HMML digitized more than 10,000 manuscripts in Syria, ceasing work in the country due to deteriorating political situation.

Many of the collections HMML digitized in Syria have been relocated to safe locations, however, the locations of some collections are currently unknown. At the very least, HMML holds a digital record of these collections, many of which, such as this collection, are available on vHMML Reading Room.

See the collection from Al-Mishtaya by searching “HMIR” in the HMML Project Number field on https://www.vhmml.org/readingRoom/

See more about HMML’s work around the world: http://www.hmml.org/our-global-work.html

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6/1/17
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Today in vHMML Reading Room news we travel to Malta: The Palazzo Falson Historic House Museum in Mdina, Malta. The Palazzo Falson is the former home of Capt Olof Frederick Gollcher OBE (1889-1962), the son of a prosperous shipping merchant of Swedish descent. Gollcher was an artist, scholar, and philanthropist, but also a discerning collector of objets d’art and historical objects. The Palazzo Falson was not only his home, but also a setting for his works of art and antiques. Now a museum, the Palazzo Falson is celebrating its 10th anniversary this month.

Supported by the Gladys Krieble Delmas Foundation, HMML’s Malta Study Center digitized over 100 manuscripts, archives and rare Melitensia housed in the Palazzo Falson Museum and Library in 2015. The collection on vHMML contains archival documents, manuscripts and literature primarily spanning the 14th-19th centuries. See the entire collection on vHMML Reading Room by searching “PFL” in the HMML Project Number field: https://www.vhmml.org/readingRoom/

Read more about the Palazzo Falson on our website: http://www.hmml.org/palazzo-falson-historic-house-museum.html

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5/4/17
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Today in vHMML Reading Room News: The Al-Budiery Library in the Old City of Jerusalem.

This collection, written in Arabic, features stunning Islamic manuscripts spanning the 12th to the 20th century - the earliest dated manuscript is from 1138 CE, and the latest is from 1926 CE. The texts cover a wide range of topics, including religion, poetry, law and mathematics.

HMML’s work in Jerusalem began in 2011 at the Saint Mark’s Monastery, a Syrian Orthodox monastery located in the Christian Quarter of the Old City of Jerusalem. Soon after, HMML began work at the Al-Budiery Library in the Old City, located near the al-Aqsa Mosque. The collection on vHMML, which totals 878 manuscripts, was collected over several generations. These were the first completely Islamic collections that HMML digitized. More than half of the collection has been cataloged and can be viewed at https://www.vhmml.org/readingRoom/ and enter “ABLJ” in the HMML Project Number field.

We wrote about the Al-Budiery family collection (on pages 8-9) in the Fall issue of our publication, Illuminations. See the issue here: http://www.hmml.org/uploads/2/1/6/0/21603598/101972-sju-illuminations_rev_small.pdf

Read more about HMML’s work in Jerusalem: http://www.hmml.org/hmml-in-jerusalem.html

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4/27/17
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Today in vHMML Reading Room News: the Syrian Catholic Archdiocesan Library in Qarah Qush (or Qaraqosh) in Iraq. Qaraqosh is an Assyrian city in northern Iraq, just southeast of Mosul. A majority of the area’s inhabitants were Christian and have been since the early centuries of Christianity. In recent history, the city was held by the Islamic State for more than two years; it was liberated in October 2016. The manuscript collection available in vHMML Reading Room contains 124 records, mostly Eastern Christian liturgical books, written in Syriac, and some manuscript fragments written in Arabic. The manuscripts date between 10th – 20th centuries. Most of the collection contains complete cataloging information.

Find it on vHMML Reading Room by searching “DSCQ T” in the HMML Project Number field.

https://www.vhmml.org/readingRoom/
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4/25/17
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Today in vHMML Reading Room news: Magna Curia Castellania Acta Originalia Series at The National Archives of Malta. It’s a large collection of archival material from Malta, covering the politics and government of Malta from 1530-1798. Written in Italian and Latin, the collection was digitized beginning in 2007 and ended in 2015. The collection includes all 1,411 volumes of the Acta Originalia and 25 indices. Digitization began in 2007 and ended in 2015, with metadata corrections and processing finishing in April, 2016. You can visit the entire collection by going to our online digital collection. at https://www.vhmml.org/readingRoom/

See the collection by searching “NAMBG” in the HMML Project Number section of vHMML Reading Room:
https://www.vhmml.org/readingRoom
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4/13/17
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Preservation news about manuscripts in #Yemen: HMML is collaborating with the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, New Jersey, to provide open access to approximately 15,000 digitized Zaydi manuscripts from Yemen and neighboring countries. The three-year project will help support and make accessible the Zaydi handwritten heritage—a heritage that is on the verge of destruction. The Zaydi literary tradition is among the richest and most variegated traditions within Islamic civilization and at the same time, one of the least studied. Zaydi scholars produced manuscripts for over one thousand years covering a wide spectrum of traditional disciplines. Read more about the project: http://bit.ly/YemenZMT
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4/11/17
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Today in vHMML Reading Room news: the collection of manuscripts from Mor Hadbshabo Church in Gülgöze, Turkey. Gülgöze is a tiny Syriac village in the Mardin province in southeast Turkey, east of Midyat. It is believed that the village was founded in the 10th Century; Mor Hadbshabo Church is the largest of three Syriac churches in the village. There are 41 Eastern Christian litugical manuscripts in the collection, ranging in date from the 18th to 20th Century, and written in Syriac. The features of the manuscripts vary, depending on subject. Some have decorative borders, others feature script in the margins. To see the collection, log on (or register! It’s free!) to https://www.vhmml.org/readingRoom.
Search “MHCA” in the HMML Project Number field.
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4/6/17
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Another great news story about our global preservation work, this time on "The World Today" from the Australian Broadcasting Company.

http://www.abc.net.au/worldtoday/content/2016/s4643017.htm

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Another great piece featuring Father Columba and HMML's global work from NPR's Here and Now, a public radio magazine program produced by NPR and WBUR in Boston, Massachusetts, and distributed NPR to over 450 stations, across the U.S. with an estimated 4.5 million weekly listeners.

http://www.wbur.org/hereandnow/2017/03/13/columba-stewart-manuscripts
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