Unscattered Leaves: Digitization of Otto F. Ege Medieval Manuscripts
April 19, 1 pm to 2 pm
Special Collections Seminar Room E-2340, Melville Library
Otto F. Ege: Fifty Original Leaves from Medieval Manuscripts is a highly anticipated, scholarly digital humanities collection recently published by Stony Brook University Libraries. Special Collections owns portfolio “No. 19” of the 40 unique, one-of-a-kind sets created by Otto F. Ege titled “Fifty Original Leaves from Medieval Manuscripts, Western Europe, XII-XVI Century.” Only 29 of the 40 original rare sets have been located worldwide.
An educator and book seller, Otto F. Ege (1888-1951) was a controversial figure best known for separating, systematically removing, and tearing manuscript leaves from books. The new digital collection provides unprecedented access to the medieval manuscripts. It features high resolution photographs of Stony Brook’s complete portfolio and descriptive information about each leaf it contains. The University Libraries created the collection to increase accessibility to its trove of important and illuminated medieval manuscripts, to contribute to a consortia of research libraries digitizing Ege portfolios, and to aid efforts by scholars and students to “virtually” reconstruct the books from which the scattered leaves were taken.
In 2016 the University Libraries embarked on this digitization project. The complexities of describing, photographing, and publishing the content utilized expertise across the department. This presentation describes the project plan from concept to publication, highlights the collection, and discusses the challenges and lessons learned from the experience.