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A digitization programme was launched by the National Library in Prague, in co-operation with a private firm, Albertina Ltd. A demonstration CD-ROM was first published in 1993, featuring some of the most precious manuscripts and other documents in the historic collections of the National Library, with annotations in Czech, English and French. In addition, a CD-ROM series has been starting with the release of the first two discs in early May 1995. Digitizing the most beautiful manuscripts and old prints of the National Library will facilitate access to these treasures without exposing the originals to heavy use, thus contributing to their preservation. In addition, while colours and ink react with paper, parchment, silk and other traditional media, digital information does not fade with the passing of time and could be easily transferred from CD-ROM to more durable media to come in the future.

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manuscript, XIII, parchment, 227 fol., 28 x 18 cm, in Latin, illuminated. The Latin psalter with glosses, the individual psalms of which are decorated in the beginning with ornamental initials and with full-page initial with stripes and leaves ornaments. ill.: p. 2 - David playing harp (initial B)

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Liber Psalmorum Veteris Testamenti et Testamentum Novum cum prologis S. Hieronymi

manuscript, XIII1, parchment, 233 fol., 36,5 x 27 cm, in Latin, illuminated. This codex includes the Psalms and The New Testament with the prologues by St. Jerome, however, nothing can be traced about its origin. Its illuminations reflect the influence of the West-German tradition of the book decoration. Out-dated fantastic animal figures are situated in its initials. Pictures of Evangelists placed in rich Roman arches reveal even older and stronger relation to the Irish Evangelistars (i.e.comments on Gospels). This manuscript represents the last traces of the " old " influences, no longer relevant in the 13th century. ill.: f. 2b - King David (initial B)

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Sermones Innocentii Romani pontificis

manuscript, cca 1230, parchment, 207 fol., 21 x 14 cm, in Latin, illuminated. This codex of South-German provenance contains sermons of the important reformer Pope Innocent III (1161 - 1216), in the course of a liturgical year. The four full-page illuminations depict Jesus Christ, the Virgin Mary, St. John Baptist among holy men, and the author of the text, Pope Innocent, with Abbot Arnold and a scrivener, all of them in monastic gowns, probably of the Benedictine or Johanite Order. The style of the manuscript is related to the Regensburgian circle. ill.: f. 2b - Innocent III handing over the codex to Abbot Arnold, Nicolaus, the scrivener, on the left

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Antiphonarium Sedlecense

manuscript, cca 1240, parchment and paper, 266 fol., 44 x 32 cm, in Latin, notations, illuminated. This codex was put together for either a Cistercian or a Benedictine Manastery probably in the Saxon-Thuringian area, where only a part of the illuminations was carried out leaving in some places the drawn outlines only. The illuminations were finished in Bohemia in the second half of the 13th century. In the 17th century the codex was owned by the Monastery in Sedlec where the missing folios were completed with paper sheets and the book was rebound. ill.: p. 44 - Half-figure of the Divine Mother with the Child; three prophets in corners of the painted framing` (initial of the responsory of the Nativitas domini vigil: H-odie celorum rex)

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Liber pontificalis Renaudi de Bar

manuscript, XIV in, parchment, 137 fol., 34 x 23,5 cm, in Latin, illuminated. This pontificate created for Bishop Renaud de Bar (in Metz in 1302 - 1316) dates from the beginning of the 14th century. Occasionally it is called after its later owner of the turn of the 16th and 17th centuries, Cherles III Lotharingian. It contains liturgical formulae and prayers for theservices that are part of a bishop's authority. It is richly illuminated and was produced in France. There are minor symbolic animal scenes in the droleries in the margins, expressing human characteristics (similarly to fables). The grotesque scenes present mostly rabbits but also monkeysn shails, musicians ans masked jugglers. ill. : f. 36b, 37a - Liturgical scenes

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Wed Nov 27 10:37:51 1996