Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Digitized incunabula from Munich

the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft is currently funding a project
for the digitization of the incunabula of the Bayerische
Staatsbibliothek München, which comprises c. 9700 editions in more
than 20.000 copies and constitutes the largest collection world-wide
in terms of copies. It is intended to digitized one copy per edition.

Since the beginning of the project, digital images of more than 1100
incunabula have been made freely available online. The can be
accessed in several ways:

1. OPAC:
Short records of all digitized incunabula have been integrated into
the Bavarian Union Catalogue (Gateway Bayern) and the local OPAC of
the BSB. However, these records do not contain the same level of
detail as the BSB's printed and electronic incunable catalogue
(BSB-Ink, see below 3). You can search for catalogue numbers in
BSB-Ink and GW via the "freie Suche"; it is recommended to place them
in inverted commas (e.g.. "BSB-Ink M-149" or "GW M19909").
The digital images can be accessed under "Weblinks" or the URL/URN.
From Gateway Bayern, the button "SFX" (in the bottem right-hand
corner) offers a connection to the full record in the online database
of BSB-Ink.

2. Digital collections:
Here you find, by order of projects, lists of incunabula which have
been digitized, which can be sorted in alphabetical or chronological
order or by shelfmarks.
The current project is listed under:
All incunabula digitized in other projects which have already been
completed, like "Book illustrations (woodcuts) of the 15th century",
"Early modern broadsides" (if before 1501) and the "Gutenberg-Bible",
are already accessible via BSB-Ink online.

3. BSB-Ink online:
The electronic catalogue of incunabula was converted from the printed
version, published in the Reichert-Verlag Wiesbaden in so far 6
volumes since 1988. All digitized images of incunabula are
successively integrated into this database, which contains the most
detailed descriptions (both bibliographic and copy-specific data). In
the course of the current project, iconographic data (IconClass and
keywords) are created for illustrated incunabula; these can be
searched via the function "Bildsuche".

We constantly strive to consider suggestions for improvements in the
online presentation as well as wishes for incunabula to be digitized,
inasmuch as it is feasible in the project workflow. In the current
phase of the project, primarily illustrated and German incunabula as
well as unique copies will be digitized. It is intended to continue
the project for the entire collection (in one copy per edition).

If would like to draw your special attention to the unique copy of
the "Türkenkalender" from the workshop of Johannes Gutenberg himself,
the earliest incunable in German printed in December 1454, which was
recently digizited from the original - a "Liber Eximiae Raritatis et
inter Cimelia Bibliothecae asservandus" in the words of the Bavarian
historian Andreas Felix von Oefele (1706-1780):

Yours sincerely,

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