The Schoenberg Institute for Manuscript Studies has recently uploaded a series of videos in which some of their manuscripts are presented.
I believe this is a fantastic initiative for many reasons. First of all, it is a great way to promote their manuscripts and their treasures; I never had the pleasure to visit their website and their digitized manuscripts, but when their videos popped-out on the Sexy Codicology YouTube feed I discovered a wealth of digitized books.
OK, the videos aren’t the most refined, and maybe the Schoenberg Institute for Manuscript Studies’ YouTube channel could use some stylistic retouches here and there, but they are informative; they do exactly what they are meant to do: orientate the viewer (a researcher, an enthusiast) by describing the book. Some information about the binding, the history, the quality of the manuscript; the miniatures and illuminations if there are any. Plus an invitation to visit their website where the digitized version of the manuscript just described is (a good “marketing” move, according to me.)
No protesting because in the Schoenberg Institute videos they are not using gloves, please! Manuscripts were build to last. They are rarely taken out of the box nowadays; if you have washed your hands, dried them well, and are very careful with what you handle, they will last thousands of years more.
I truly hope that many more institutions start making similar videos. There are only good things to come from them: more visits to the digitized collections, possible extra income from the monetizing of the videos, giving the impression of being able to bridge an ancient medium (a manuscript) with contemporary media.
Well done Schoenberg Institute!
The Schoenberg Institute’s Videos