Preservation and Access: Humanities Collections and Reference Resources

Period of Performance

6/1/2010 - 6/30/2013

Funding Totals

$315,000.00 (approved)
$315,000.00 (awarded)

Parchment to Pixel: Creating a Digital Resource of Medieval Manuscripts

FAIN: PW-50518-10

Walters Art Gallery (Baltimore, MD 21201-5118)
William Noel (Project Director: July 2009 to September 2012)
Robert Mintz (Project Director: September 2012 to September 2013)

Cataloging and digitizing 105 medieval illuminated manuscripts dating mostly from the 9th to the 16th centuries that derive from diverse Christian cultures. Images and catalog data would be freely accessible via the museum's Web site and a portal maintained by Johns Hopkins University.

Parchment to Pixel, a two-and-a-half-year project to preserve and make available cataloged digital surrogates of 105 manuscripts from the Walters Art Museum's world-famous collection. Armenian, Byzantine, Ethiopian, Dutch, English, and Central European manuscripts -- representing diverse Christian cultures -- will be digitally captured and documented, amounting to approximately 38,650 pages of ancient text and 3,500 medieval images of the highest quality.

Media Coverage

Walters will use grant to digitize medieval manuscripts (Media Coverage)
Author(s): Tim Smith
Publication: Baltimore Sun
Date: 4/6/2010
Abstract: The prized collection of medieval manuscripts at the Walters Art Museum - about 38,000 pages - is heading out of its usual, controlled environment and into the light. The light of computer screens, that is. Thanks to a $315,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities, 105 medieval manuscripts from several centuries and cultures will be digitally photographed, cataloged and distributed during the next two and a half years. "This gives us the chance to make accessible, and for free on everybody's desktop, some of the greatest works of art from the Middle Ages [housed] in America, works that, until now, have never been seen," said Will Noel, curator of manuscripts and rare books at the Walters. "The most people see at the Walters from the manuscript collection is 20 images at one time." Free access to the images will be made available on The Walters' Web site,, "and other portals, like Flickr," Noels said. "People can use them as they want." That arrangemen

Walters Art Museum Receives Grant to Support Digitization of Manuscripts (Media Coverage)
Publication: Art Daily
Date: 4/8/2010
Abstract: BALTIMORE, MD.- The National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) has granted the Walters Art Museum $315,000 for a 2 1/2 year project to digitize, catalog and distribute 105 illuminated medieval manuscripts. Representing diverse Byzantine, Greek, Armenian, Ethiopian, Dutch, English and Central European cultures, this project, entitled "Parchment to Pixel: Creating a Digital Resource of Medieval Manuscripts", will allow for the digitization of approximately 38,000 pages of ancient text and 3,500 pages of illumination. “The aim of this project is to allow access to the museum’s collections, free of charge, mirroring in the virtual world what the Walters has achieved at our physical location through free admission,” said Walters Director Gary Vikan. “This project further fulfills the museum’s mission to bring art and people together.” The resulting digital catalog and library of images will conform to internationally accepted standards and will be distributed to diverse audiences throu