Trinity College, Cambridge

A couple of days ago I received an email from Cambridge Trinity College. I was kindly asked if it was possible to update the link to their digitized medieval manuscripts on the DMMmaps. The email mentioned that they have “been hard at work updating and making it look prettier”. Moved by curiosity, I went to give a look and updated the link.

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Trinity College in Cambridge goes Mobile

As soon as I landed on the page I recognized Bootstrap (basically: a set of code rules that dictate how webpages look on devices with different screen sizes). Wonderful. This is one of the first websites home to digitized medieval manuscripts that is mobile friendly. Personally I am one of those people who like to sit on the couch with his tablet and browse through medieval manuscripts. Too bad this experience is often impossible due to pages displaying badly on my device. Trinity College takes the first steps in the right direction to solve this issue.

Trinity College’s Digitized Medieval Manuscripts

Trinity College is home to 150 digitized medieval manuscripts. I asked which ones I should highlight since I would post them all. This is what is recommended:

Image Quality and Browsing Experience

Browsing the manuscripts from Trinity College is a pleasant experience. The quality of the images is very high, and there is the possibility to zoom in easily into details by simply scrolling with the mouse wheel.  This really speeds up analyzing the small details in a manuscript (See the detail of the initial Q above, for example). The negative note is that you cannot download the whole page on your computer. The images in this post were created with the ancient art of screen-shooting and cropping in Photoshop. This is quite far from ideal, especially if you need to analyze a particular folio, but you are unable to connect to internet ( The Getty Museum is awesome from this point of view.)

Copyright

Well, here at Sexy Codicology we are big fans of Creative Commons, Open Content, etc. Unfortunately, the images from the Trinity College are shared under the following copyright:

“Copyright of the Master and Fellows, Trinity College, Cambridge.”

We would love to make videos in which we can highlight details from these sensational manuscripts, but, alas, with such copyright, we cannot. Technically speaking, no one would be allowed to publish Trinity College’s images of digitized manuscripts on the web either with this copyright. Maybe a Attribution-NonCommercial copyright from Creative Commons would help, allowing people like us to create products that drive visitors and users to the website where the source is located. Imagine the Trinity Apocalypse with Verdi’s Dies Irae.

But, this is just my opinion of course. Who knows… Maybe one day!

Final Thoughts

The Trinity College’s collection of medieval manuscripts is sensational; and it is fantastic that these manuscripts are available for everyone to look at and study over the internet. I am really pleased to finally see a mobile friendly website for digitized medieval manuscripts too. This definitely sets an example for other institutions. Too bad for the copyrights restrictions and the impossibility to download the images, but these are minor aspects that affect only a few people.

It is definitely worth visiting the renewed page and spend hours discovering all the manuscripts. Once you have done that, head back to the DMMapp, and have fun discovering another library, of course!

Which is you favorite manuscript from this institution? Let us know in the comment section below!

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Giulio Menna
Giulio is an MA graduate in Book and Digital Media Studies from Leiden University, the Netherlands. He is also system librarian at Leiden University Library. Founder and developer of Sexy Codicology and the DMMmaps Project; lover of medieval manuscripts and of all things digital.