Friday, February 01, 2008

Digitization of Microfilms of NT MSS

At the H. Milton Haggard Center for New Testament Textual Studies in New Orleans, we have just completed the digitization of our microfilms of NT mss into grey-scale files (about 500 were on microfilms with another 200 in facsimile, editions, and digital forms). The results are looking quite good so far (haven't been able to go through all of them yet) and often give better options for seeing the ms than even the microfilms did with the zoom, etc. on our reader/printer. The next stage is that we're going to label each digital file (individual frames, with either 1 or 2 pages of the ms) to indicate the exact content of the file. When we've finished that process, those mss that we can legally loan in digital form to others will be available for the field. Of course, some holding institutions have not given such permission, but we do have it for films like those from the Library of Congress (the Mt. Athos, Jerusalem Patriachate, some St. Catherine mss).

Now if folks would like to help in the labeling of the files, feel free to contact me off-list at

As another note, Münster is in the process of digitizing their collection as part of a major project there and is doing much more with their project than we have done, so hopefully within a couple of years via Münster's work and that of others (such as the mss. already available on-line from multiple sources, including the Center for the Study of NT MSS that Dan Wallace directs), we'll have substantially better access to the mss. for NT scholars.


  1. well this is certainly a great news for us working on scribal habits.

  2. Bill, the Münster Institut and IGNTP have spent many weeks developing a system for numbering scans which takes into account every problem we can think of, as well as developing a set of agreed procedures to achieve the best results. We strongly suggest that you follow this, since this will be easier for users.


  3. I am currently working on digitalizing microfilms at INTF, Muenster and I will also start indexing them during the month of August. This is a tedious job, some manuscripts are damaged, but in the end it will provide many scholars with good access to the originals.