Headlines at Hopkins: news releases from across
university Headlines
News by Topic: news releases organized by
subject News by Topic
News by School: news releases organized by the 
university's 9 schools & divisions News by School
Events Open to the Public (campus-wide) Events Open
to the Public
Blue Jay Sports: Hopkins Athletic Center Blue Jay Sports
Search News Site Search the Site

Contacting the News Staff: directory of
press officers Contacting
News Staff
Receive News Via Email (listservs) Receive News
Via Email
Resources for Journalists Resources for Journalists

Virtually Live@Hopkins: audio and video news Virtually
Hopkins in the News: news clips about Hopkins Hopkins in
the News

Faculty Experts: searchable resource organized by 
topic Faculty Experts
Faculty and Administrator Photos Faculty and
Faculty with Homepages Faculty with Homepages

JHUNIVERSE Homepage JHUniverse Homepage
Headlines at Hopkins
News Release

Office of News and Information
Johns Hopkins University
901 South Bond Street, Suite 540
Baltimore, Maryland 21231
Phone: 443-287-9960 | Fax: 443-287-9920

August 9, 2005
MEDIA CONTACT: Pamela Higgins
(410) 516-8337

Grant Will Enhance
Virtual Medieval Manuscript Collection

A pioneering effort to digitize versions of one of the most popular romances of the Middle Ages and to share digitized copies with students and scholars around the world, has won a $717,000 grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to enhance and expand the project.

Begun in 1998 as a close collaboration between the Johns Hopkins University's Sheridan Libraries' Digital Knowledge Center and the Department of Romance Languages, the Roman de la Rose project enables new approaches to medieval studies through the creation of digital surrogates, transcriptions, and text and image searching. Rather than travel thousands of miles to make comparisons of these texts, scholars can easily compare and study them online.

The Mellon Foundation funding will help create a board of advisors, underwrite a technical conference and support digitization of more versions of Roman de la Rose, a story of a dreamer pursuing Love while encountering obstacles, adventures and life lessons along the way.

To date, Rose manuscripts from the Walters Art Museum in Baltimore, the Pierpont Morgan Library in New York, the J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles, and the Bodleian Library at Oxford University have been digitized, providing scholars an online environment for comparative analysis of works produced centuries apart, ranging in quality from commonplace to sumptuous presentation manuscripts.

"We have contributed directly to the transformation of scholarly research and practices in the initial phase of the Rose project," said Winston Tabb, dean of university libraries at Johns Hopkins. "One of the most exciting aspects of this award is that it will enable us to develop an integrated approach to preservation and access issues through the design of a repository, which will house the digital content and support its easy integration into learning environments."

"The Rose project has already become a teaching tool on a worldwide scale," said Stephen G. Nichols, the James M. Beall Professor of French and Humanities at Johns Hopkins and co-principal investigator on the project. "We are delighted to have the opportunity to continue our collaborations with researchers, librarians and technology specialists, and museum professionals as we expand the riches of this global resource for the scholarly community."

Creating the joint board of scholars and technical experts will help the project further design a means for ongoing collaborative contribution to the site by qualified scholars and students from around the world, migrate the content to a better, repository-based system, connect the repository to learning systems, and add virtual manuscripts from different countries and chronological periods to enhance comparative analysis.

"The Roman de la Rose Web site has already proved extremely useful in both teaching and research," said Sylvia Huot, reader in medieval French literature at Cambridge University in England. "It allows students to compare the way that different manuscripts translate the text into visual imagery, to assess the impact of illustrations on a reader and to compare variant versions of the text. ...The new phase will make the site richer and much easier to use."

Grants from the Samuel H. Kress and Gladys Krieble Delmas Foundations and the Getty Trust funded the earlier phase of Project Rose development. To visit the Rose site, go to rose.mse.jhu.edu/.

The Sheridan Libraries encompass the Milton S. Eisenhower Library and its collections at the Albert D. Hutzler Reading Room, the John Work Garrett Library at Evergreen House, and the George Peabody Library at Mt. Vernon Place.

Johns Hopkins University news releases can be found on the World Wide Web at http://www.jhu.edu/news_info/news/
   Information on automatic e-mail delivery of science and medical news releases is available at the same address.

Go to Headlines@HopkinsHome Page