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Study and Digitisation of Italian Emblem Books in the Stirling Maxwell Collection of the Glasgow University Library


This project focuses on the study and the digitization of selected 16th-century Italian emblem books now located in Glasgow University Library. Emblems, characterised by the combination of text and image, enjoyed an enormous popularity, and ¿ thanks also t o their figurative elements and the many translations or multilingual editions ¿ had wide circulation across Renaissance Europe in academic, court, religious and bourgeois circles. The emblem corpus constitutes a socio-historical document of European cultu re and an extraordinary artistic heritage requiring study, preservation and greater accessibility. Its nature, material conditions and location, raise considerable challenges, to be confronted and overcome by means of information technology. The texts and engraved images of these books can be made available to a fuller audience in digitized format, bypassing accessibility and dispersal problems. The work of encoding and indexing emblems would be developed in a unified way, integrating the largely unexplored field of Italian emblematics into the general frame of digitization projects. The objective is not only to digitize, index and effect research on selected emblem books, but also to help to develop structures and standards, and to provide a terminological framework for future digital publications, of all genres. The researcher would be trained to manage the entire digitization process, which would be carried out adopting the best practice and standards currently available to encode emblem books (TEI code fo r texts, Iconclass for images, and specific descriptive metadata), and resulting in electronic publication on the Web. This project would promote transfer of technology and knowledge towards a less-favoured region of the EU, and enlarge the international n etwork of emblem scholarship and digitization, enabling new long-term collaborations across Europe, and developing high skilled operators, instruments, and methods which will enhance EU scientific excellence.

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University of glasgow
Reino Unido

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