From vellum to pixels
David Remington offers expertise in project to digitize Codex Sinaiticus
By Paula Carter
Harvard College Library Communications
The Codex Sinaiticus is the earliest manuscript of the complete New Testament and the earliest and best witness, according to Bible scholars, for several books of the Hebrew Scriptures (Old Testament). Dating from the middle of the fourth century, the manuscript was originally written by hand on vellum (calfskin or sheepskin). Now, having endured into the 21st century, it will soon be replicated in pixels. Four institutions currently hold leaves from the Codex - the British Library, Leipzig University Library in Germany, National Library of Russia, and St. Catherine's Monastery in Egypt - and they have come together to create a digital reunification of the Codex Sinaiticus that will be published and placed on CD-ROM.
David Remington, collections reformatting photographer in the Digital Imaging and Photography Group in Widener Library, is serving on the Codex Sinaiticus Technical Standards Working Party, composed of representatives from each institution and digital imaging specialists. The international team's goal is to create a scholarly edition of the Codex and as exact a replication as possible.
This article via the Bible and Interpretation website. It's over a year old, but I haven't seen it before. The story has also received lots of attention on the Textual Criticism list in the last several days, starting when Jim West pointed to a German article about the project. Dave Washburn also noted the Harvard Gazette article and a brief notice on the SBL website. I wonder if Dirk Jongkind is involved.
One quibble regarding the Harvard Gazette article: Sinaiticus is "the earliest and best witness ... for several books of the Hebrew Scriptures (Old Testament)" in the Greek version, the Septuagint. The Dead Sea Scrolls are much earlier and cover almost all of the Hebrew Bible, albeit only in fragments.