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Analysing rare books with digital technologies

The project "blockbooks in Bavarian collections"
Analiziranje redkih knijg z digitalnimi tehnologijami
: Wagner, B.

Knjiznica 56 (2012), Nr.3, S.127-145
ISSN: 0023-2424
ISSN: 1581-7903
Fraunhofer WKI ()
blockbooks; watermark; digitisation; Bayerische Staatsbibliothek München; project

Books printed from wooden blocks in the fifteen century, the so-called xylographa or block-books, are exeedingly rare and therefor extremely valuable objects of the European cultural heritage. The paper gives an introduction into the material and the questions examined in current research. Responding to scholars´ needs for high-quality reproductions of the blockbooks and their watermarks, a project for the cataloguing and digitisation of the c. 90 blockbooks held at the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek München and other institutions in Bavaria was startet in 2009. The aims and methods of the project are described in the paper, and the workflow of the digitisation project carried out at the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek is explained in detail, both with respect to the digitisation procedures for image capture and the detection and documentation of watermarks with an infrared camera. The illustrations exemplify the quality of digital images generated in the project, all of which are accessible on the website of the Munich Digiti-Zation Center (MDZ) at the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek München.