E-codices: Virtual Manuscript Library of Switzerland

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Founder and Director

  • Prof. Dr. Cristoph Flüeler


From the project website (accessed 2020-09-29)

Since 2005 e-codices has been digitizing manuscripts from all regions of Switzerland. During the first two years of the project, as a result of a joint pilot project with the Abbey Library of St. Gall, 130 manuscripts from the Abbey Library were published online on the CESG (Codices electronici Sangalleses) website. Thanks to generous support from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the Stavros Niarchos Foundation, e-lib – Swiss electronic library, and numerous other funding sources, e-codices has been able to expand to include manuscripts from all over Switzerland. As the “Virtual Manuscript Library of Switzerland” e-codices offers free online access to medieval and early modern manuscripts from public and church-owned collections as well as from numerous private collections. Since 2013, e-codices has been integrated into swissuniversities' national program “Scientific information: Access, processing and safeguarding” for the establishment of digital infrastructure. e-codices works cooperatively worldwide with several hundred specialists who are performing research on Swiss manuscripts, and we operate two digitization centers: the St. Galler Digitalisierungszentrum and the Centre de numérisation de Genève in Cologny.

e-codices is an initiative of Prof. Dr. Christoph Flüeler, Professor for Manuscript Studies and Medieval Latin and a member of the Medieval Institute at the University of Fribourg.

Guiding Principles

From the project website (accessed 2020-09-29)

  • Manuscripts: Our focus includes manuscripts from late antiquity, the middle ages and early modernity.
  • Research Library: Publication of digital manuscripts follows the criteria of scholarly editing and is oriented chiefly towards a scholarly research audience. The research library also serves as a laboratory where specialists can actively participate.
  • Switzerland: e-codices publishes digital manuscripts from Switzerland on the internet.
  • Multilingualism: All static pages and basic metadata for all manuscripts are offered in three Swiss national languages (German, French, Italian) and English.
  • Quality Reproductions: We strive to achieve very high photographic quality according to the principles of scientific research photography.
  • Quality Metadata and Search Functions: Each manuscript is linked to basic metadata, which can be complemented by one or more scholarly manuscript descriptions. Collaboration with manuscript experts facilitates the creation of new manuscript descriptions. The metadata are integrated into a database set up according to international standards.
  • Interoperability: We seek to create the most comprehensive network possible and to enable automated sharing of images and metadata using a variety of interfaces.
  • Manuscript Education: In order to raise public awareness of manuscripts and have them become a public good, our broad program introduces manuscripts to new and diverse interest groups, among them museums, schools, social networks, etc.
  • Open Access: All digital reproductions and metadata are freely accessible for non-commercial use.