MANUWEB: Discovering, Learning, and Exploring Manuscript Cultures

Grants and Contracts Details


The Hill Museum & Manuscript Library (HMML;, a sponsored program of Saint John’s University (Collegeville, Minnesota), seeks an IMLS Advancing Digital Resources grant to create MANUWEB, an online environment for manuscript studies that will facilitate access to, and presentation, management, preservation, sharing, and use of, the extensive digital manuscript resources in HMML’s collections, in the collections of comparable institutions, and of MANUWEB’s users. Manuscripts are defined here as handwritten texts—generally codices (books), but also documentary material such as charters, letters, and legal records—that provide the primary and often sole access to the historic cultures that have shaped the modern world. With MANUWEB, HMML intends to expand and deepen the use of its world-class collection of manuscript images. HMML will build upon its existing electronic tools for manuscript study by creating a virtual research and learning community with multiple pathways between its users and HMML’s resources, as well as providing the ability to use digital manuscript images provided by other institutions or from a user’s own collection. MANUWEB will support a range of users, from advanced undergraduates to established scholars, in their exploration of manuscript culture and its relevance to the modern world. It is one challenge to organize these materials and make them findable; it is an entirely different challenge to create a lively intellectual community around them. MANUWEB will demonstrate how both challenges can be met within an integrated digital framework in which each component connects to the others, allowing new users to learn and generating new content of benefit to users at all levels of proficiency. The cross-cultural approach fundamental to MANUWEB suggests how special collections materials need not be segregated into linguistic or cultural groupings, but can be used and interpreted in a richer environment supportive of comparative analysis. Project architecture and software will be developed in collaboration with a team drawn from the Center for Digital Theology at Saint Louis University and the Carolingian Canon Law project at the University of Kentucky.
Effective start/end date10/1/121/31/14


  • St Johns University: $27,209.00


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