More open academics: Manuscriptorium

Historians have a bit of an advantage when it comes to open access to research material — so much of what they’re interested in is well out of copyright. To that end, Manuscriptorium is assembling digitized manuscripts and other research materials in a convenient and open-access library.

Their about page is very informative, describing the origins of the project. It seems to be run by the Czech government, and includes not only digital resources but metadata on meatspace records and artifacts as well.

I saw a sign on a reference librarian’s door the other day about spending hours of aimless internet searching versus 10 minutes with a reference librarian. It’s a decent point, and I was in the library that day to look at reference materials better than anything I could find online, but more and more of the resources and catalogs (real-world pointers) that we need to do research are becoming available online, and to everyone.