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1.5 Million Pages of Ancient Manuscripts Online 79

Posted by Soulskill
from the play-the-historical-documents dept.
New submitter LordWabbit2 sends this quote from an AP report: "The Vatican Library and Oxford University's Bodleian Library have put the first of 1.5 million pages of ancient manuscripts online. The two libraries in 2012 announced a four-year project to digitize some of the most important works of their collections of Hebrew manuscripts, Greek manuscripts and early printed books. Among the first up on the site Tuesday, are the two-volume Gutenberg bibles from each of the libraries and a beautiful 15th-century German bible, hand-colored and illustrated by woodcuts. ... The Vatican Library was founded in 1451 and is one of the most important research libraries in the world. The Bodleian is the largest university library in Britain."
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1.5 Million Pages of Ancient Manuscripts Online

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  • Can we get Daniel Jackson to translate them?

  • Comic Sans (Score:4, Funny)

    by ScottCooperDotNet (929575) on Wednesday December 04, 2013 @01:32AM (#45592113)

    And they're all available only in Comic Sans.

    • And they're all available only in Comic Sans.

      There is a project underway to convert the documents to Papyrus in order to make it look more olde-timey.

  • Appalling (Score:4, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 04, 2013 @01:47AM (#45592181)

    Absolutely no respect for copyright. If I was a descendant of the families who wrote these documents, I would be demanding compensation!

  • by tpstigers (1075021) on Wednesday December 04, 2013 @01:52AM (#45592199)
    No amount of Slashdottery will take the awesome out of this.
  • Copyright (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Smauler (915644) on Wednesday December 04, 2013 @02:17AM (#45592305)

    The images of the ancient texts are marked "Copyright Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana".

    Copyright is seriously out of control. People don't even know what it is any more.

    • Re:Copyright (Score:5, Informative)

      by GumphMaster (772693) on Wednesday December 04, 2013 @02:57AM (#45592439)

      Here is the logic. The image is a work carrying copyright: you cannot reproduce the image without permission or staying within fair use/fair dealing provisions of relevant laws. The words on the pages in the are a public domain work: you can quote from the book with impunity. Logical in some minds, but copyright assertions by gatekeepers has a long history of abuse.

      • The few images I have seen carry a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported licence.

      • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bridgeman_Art_Library_v._Corel_Corp [wikipedia.org].

        If it is a straightforward photo that reproduces a 2D image such as a manuscript page that is in the public domain, then that photo is also in the public domain. I have uploaded others' photos on numerous occasions to Wikimedia Commons, which also recognizes such photos as public domain, and it has always been accepted as valid. Unfortunately many people, even museums, believe that anything and everything is under copyright, and they are un
        • Here's the thing... if there is only one document, and it is in a private library, is it in the public domain?
        • by Anonymous Coward

          If it is a straightforward photo that reproduces a 2D image such as a manuscript page that is in the public domain, then that photo is also in the public domain.

          **IN THE US**

          Other countries disagree with the US Supreme Court's interpretation that simple mechanical effort is insufficient to introduce a new copyright claim. I don't know what copyright law in the Vatican or in the UK is with regards to that point, but neither the Vatican Library or the Bodleian Library is going to feel compelled to follow U.S. copyright law just because they posted something on the internet. (The Bridgeman v. Corel article you link actually talks about UK law, and how UK law is unclea

          • Australian law, for example, does not require artistic merit (i.e. not a slavish copy) for a new copyright to exist in the photograph. An artistic work is defined as, "a painting, sculpture, drawing, engraving or photograph, whether the work is of artistic quality or not." (Copyright Act 1968 Sect 10). Whether it is a slavish copy of a public domain work or not is irrelevant in determining the rights pertaining to the image of the object. Other provisions covering databases of works would also come into p

            • by Smauler (915644)

              Australian law, for example, does not require artistic merit (i.e. not a slavish copy) for a new copyright to exist in the photograph. An artistic work is defined as, "a painting, sculpture, drawing, engraving or photograph, whether the work is of artistic quality or not."

              That's shitty... UK law requires a little artistic merit. All other European law does too AFAIK. Most of the world holds that simple reproductions do not hold copyright in themselves.

              Are telephone directories copyrighted in Australia?

    • by chrismcb (983081)
      The IMAGES are copyrighted... The images are fairly new. The text in the images not so much. But you are right, people don't even what it is anymore.
      • by Smauler (915644)

        The images are _not_ copyrighted. They are representations, they are _not_ original works.

    • The way copyright works right now with Life+70 years is quite out of control too.
  • We can crowdsource all the Dan Brown clues-hidden-by-the-ancients malarky and discover thousands of Holy Grails, Atlantises, Lemurias, El Dorados, Alien Saucers etc.

  • That's all we need, providing everyone with still more access to ancient text. [downlode.org]

    Two Paragraph spoiler summary [wikipedia.org] if you want the CliffNotes [cliffsnotes.com] version.
  • by Freshly Exhumed (105597) on Wednesday December 04, 2013 @04:38AM (#45592779) Homepage

    Hmmm, if I've got this correct, the item I just read says: "Pound pastrami, can kraut, six bagels—bring home for Emma."

  • Wish it was a bit easier to find the actual text. It would have also been cool to see the pages side by side. But still this is way cool.
  • Does it have the missing first page from the bible that reads:

    "Dedicated to my loving wife Sarah.

    The stories contained herein are fictional, any resemblance to real persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental."

  • Well, that site seems to be very Judeo/Christian centric. Hope there is a similar effort to get the Hindu and Buddhist texts/manuscripts on line.

    The one and only line-by-line English translation of Mahabharata, by Ganguli, a three decade effort stretching from 1860 to 1890, is on the public domain and can be downloaded for free. Very difficult to read, extremely voluminous. But there things some mind boggling stuff there.

    For example, while describing the reign of Emperor Dushyant, it says, "In his days

  • I had no idea that ancient Hebrews had document scanners.

  • by coinreturn (617535) on Wednesday December 04, 2013 @12:11PM (#45595925)
    It says: "Any similarity to persons dead or alive is purely coincidental."
  • I mean, there's one of the eight copies of that manuscript by Abdul Alhazrad there....

                      mark

  • The Gutenberg Bible can be viewed here [vatlib.it].

    The beautiful colour woodcuts in Stamp.Ross.283 can be viewed here [vatlib.it].

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