21 December 2011

A Christmas Surprise & Season's Greetings

Christopher de Hamel delivered an early Christmas present today, thanks to his identification of a young John Waynflete Carter (190575), the great bibliographer and exposer of T. J. Wise, as one of at least four previous owners of the Dunedin copy of a Greek New Testament (Oxford, 1675). 

Carter was a student at Eton when he purchased this book, and his inscription is most fitting for this time of year: 'J. W. Carter Eton College, elect of King's Coll Christmas 1923'.

[Update 14.3.12: Thanks are due to the Berkeley-based bookseller, Ian Jackson, who informed me that this book was not purchased by Carter, but rather given to him by the man whose signature is above his, the ecclesiastical historian Cuthbert Hamilton Turner (18601930). According to Jackson, Turner published a volume on The Early Printed Editions of the Greek Testament (Oxford, 1924) and 'watched benevolently over the young Carter, taking him on vacations etc'.]

Wishing everyone who has visited Antipodean Footnotes a happy holiday season and all good wishes for a joyous New Year. Here is to more bibliographical discoveries in 2012.

01 December 2011

University of Melbourne Digitising Its Middle Eastern Manuscripts

Image property
 of the University of Melbourne
[The following was included in today's Hidden Treasures of the University of Melbourne Library e-newsletter]

The University of Melbourne Library holds almost 200 Middle Eastern manuscripts, dating from the twelfth to the twentieth century. Languages include Arabic, Persian, Turkish, Urdu, Prakrit, Mongol, Sanskrit, Malmud, Ethiopic and Syriac. The collection is just one of a number of collections built up by the Reverend Professor John Bowman between 1959 and 1975 during his time as head of the Department of Semitic Studies.

MUL 134 [at left], tells the love story of Kamrup and Kamlata in Persian poetical form, although it was produced in Northern India in about 1737. Its miniature illustrations are in gouache, gold and silver leaf. The script is in black ink with some red, ruled borders with decoration of silver, red and blue.

One of the exciting projects of the University’s Digitisation Service is to digitise this beautiful collection and to date half of the manuscripts have been digitised.

The digitised manuscripts are available through the University's Digital Repository.