25 November 2008
Last year, William Noel (The Walters Art Museum, Baltimore) and Reviel Netz published their book on the discovery and study of a palimpsest manuscript with texts by Archimedes: The Archimedes Codex: revealing the secrets of the world’s greatest palimpsest (London 2007; repr. 2008). There’s a translation into Dutch as well: De Archimedes codex: de geheimen van een opzienbarende palimpsest ontsluierd (Amsterdam 2007).
Will Noel now announces the release of the digital edition of the palimpsest:
Ten years ago today, a private American collector purchased the Archimedes Palimpsest. Since that time he has guided and funded the project to conserve, image, and study the manuscript. After ten years of work, involving the expertise and goodwill of an extraordinary number of people working around the world, the Archimedes Palimpsest Project has released its data. It is a historic dataset, revealing new texts from the ancient world. It is an integrated product, weaving registered images in many wavebands of light with XML transcriptions of the Archimedes and Hyperides texts that are spatially mapped to those images. It has pushed boundaries for the imaging of documents, and relied almost exclusively on current international standards. We hope that this dataset will be a persistent digital resource for the decades to come. We also hope it will be helpful as an example for others who are conducting similar work. It published under a Creative Commons 3.0 attribution license, to ensure ease of access and the potential for widespread use. A complete facsimile of the revealed palimpsested texts is available on Googlebooks as The Archimedes Palimpsest. It is hoped that this is the first of many uses to which the data will be put.
We have set up a discussion forum on the Archimedes Palimpsest Project. Any member can invite anybody else to join. If you want to become a member, please email: firstname.lastname@example.org.