A grant from the Breslauer Foundation and a gift from a private donor have underwritten the acquisition of two incunabula and one late 15th-century manuscript bound in a single volume to be part of The Malta Study Center’s collection of rare books and manuscripts at the Hill Museum & Manuscript Library. The acquisition adds to the Center’s collection, being the first incunabula computus works added to and one of the earliest Catalan manuscripts held in the library’s Rare Book and Special Collections.
The first work, Bernart de Granollachs’ 1491 edition of the Lunarium ab anno 1491 ad annum 1550, supports HMML’s collection of early printed works dedicated to the history of the intersection of Christian, Jewish, and Islamic cultures, as Granollach’s relied on Jacob ben David’s astrological tables for calculating the calendar year. The second work, the 1490 printed edition of the Computus cum commento, was composed by Anianus, a French Benedictine monk who scholars believed lived at the monastery of Aniane near Montpellier during the 13th century. While HMML has several early works devoted to Benedictine history, this manuscript attests to Benedictine achievements in mathematics and astronomy.
The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation has awarded the Hill Museum & Manuscript Library (HMML) at Saint John’s University a $651,000 grant to expand online access to its manuscript images from endangered and inaccessible collections around the world.
Over the next three years, HMML plans a comprehensive redevelopment of its online catalog, OLIVER, already the world’s largest online resource for manuscript studies. OLIVER 2.0 will significantly improve the quality of both past and future cataloging, invite contributions from users of HMML’s digitized manuscripts, and make HMML’s resources more easily discoverable by digital humanities projects at other institutions. This project builds upon almost two decades of partnership between HMML and the Foundation to develop ever-wider access to manuscript collections that are otherwise unavailable to researchers. A grant from the Mellon Foundation in the 1990s supported creation of OLIVER, and more recent grants have enabled thousands of manuscripts from endangered collections in the Middle East and Eastern Europe to be cataloged and shared with scholars throughout the world. This latest grant will support both the rebuilding of the digital platform for OLIVER and further cataloging of manuscripts from HMML’s projects in several countries where manuscript collections are at risk or inaccessible.
The Hill Museum & Manuscript Library in Collegeville, Minnesota, preserves handwritten manuscripts around the world and makes the digital images freely available in an effort to understand and protect the history of humanity.