NOVA’s Building the Great Cathedrals is now available to watch on the PBS website.
Take a dazzling architectural journey inside those majestic marvels of Gothic architecture, the great cathedrals of Chartres, Beauvais and other European cities. Carved from 100 million pounds of stone, some cathedrals now teeter on the brink of catastrophic collapse. To save them, a team of engineers, architects, art historians, and computer scientists searches the naves, bays, and bell-towers for clues.
The Morgan Library and Museum features online exhibitions, including high quality, zoom-able digital images of works in the collection. A recent example of this is the digital facsimile of The Black Hours (MS M.493), a Book of Hours from 1470 created on vellum and stained or painted black:
The result is quite arresting. The text is written in silver and gold, with gilt initials and line endings composed of chartreuse panels enlivened with yellow filigree. Gold foliage on a monochromatic blue background makes up the borders. The miniatures are executed in a restricted palette of blue, old rose, and light flesh tones, with dashes of green, gray, and white.
A high-resolution, searchable, and zoomable copy of the Gough Map of Great Britain is now available online through the Linguistic Geographies project. The map may be searched by modern or medieval place name and browsed by place alphabetically.
The Gough Map is internationally-renowned as one of the earliest maps to show Britain in a geographically-recognizable form. Yet to date, questions remain of how the map was made, who made it, when and why… This website presents an interactive, searchable edition of the Gough Map, together with contextual material, a blog, and information about the project and the Language of Maps colloquium.
The British Library offers a very high-quality scan of the Lindisfarne Gospels online. Viewers can click and hold the mouse while moving the cursor to the left to “turn” each page. Three buttons at bottom right allow for text description, audio description, and magnification of each page.
A version for dial-up users is also available.
With a database of images, texts, charts and historical maps, Mapping Gothic France lets you explore parallel stories of Gothic architecture and the formation of France in the 12th and 13th centuries, considered in three dimensions: space, time, and narrative.
Via Geospatial Technologies in Education.
In honor of April Fools’ Day, here’s a look at the basilica dedicated to the notorious holy fool Saint Francis. Sacred Destinations–an online guide to sacred sites, religious art & architecture, and historic religious places–features a comprehensive virtual tour of the Basilica di San Francesco, Assisi, including frescoes by Giotto.
The Chair of the History of the Book at the University of Amsterdam has created a Flickr photostream, including typographical material with a focus on the Netherlands from 1470-1800. The collection is a work in progress, created in collaboration with Special Collections, Amsterdam, and also with the Royal Library, The Hague and the Archive at Alkmaar. Over the coming year, project collaborators hope to extend the collection to more than 20,000 photographs of initials, ornaments and type. Descriptions to facilitate searching will also be enhanced through the use of the Iconclass database.
Timelines: Sources from History, available on the British Library’s website, allows you to explore British Library collection items chronologically. It includes items from the medieval period to the present, and a diverse array of items from everyday life (handbills, posters, diaries) and from political events (charters, speeches, campaign leaflets).
Credo Reference, the award winning online reference library, now includes National Gallery London images in the Credo General Reference Collection. Credo Reference is available through the University of Chicago library by clicking here.
Credo has licensed high resolution images of the paintings in the National Gallery. Students and faculty can now easily find quality images from this museum to aid their research. This page includes a browsable list of the National Gallery images available through Credo.
The Bayeaux Tapestry, one of the most important chronicles of its day, offers a vivid depiction of the events leading up to the Norman Conquest of England in 1066. A video available on YouTube from PotionGraphics brings the tale to life through animation and sound effects. The clip begins about halfway through the tapestry, at the appearance of Haley’s Comet, and ends at The Battle of Hastings.
Video discovered via Open Culture. The entire scroll is available to view here.