Digitalization of illustrations from old books in the Library of the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic
A research project, Views of towns and other locations in 16th–18th century printed books, carried out by the bibliology section of the Library of the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic (KNAV), includes the creation of an inventory of drawings from books printed within the territory of today’s Czech Republic and in foreign workshops from the period if the subjects of illustrations were located within that territory. The information is classified according to probable links between authors (the printer/the work’s author/the illustrator) and their collaboration, and according to the use of specific topographical motifs and graphic techniques. Several reference or cross-reference lists are being compiled, including lists of towns and persons, as well as a chronological list according to the dates on which the illustrations were made. The compilers have included all views of towns, even when the views were just parts of bigger compositions. This work has produced material to be published in print and on CD-ROM – material that is an important source for scholars studying old book illustrations. The work on the inventories is being continued and the researchers also take into account graphics in printed foreign-language materials related to Bohemia. The previous CD publication included 16th and 17th century printers’ and publishers’ signets from the KNAV collections. In 2001 there was the launch of the project Digitalization of signed illustrations in printed materials from 1501–1750 kept in the Library of the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic. The first stage of the project is completed and a continuation is being planned. In the process, the scholars created a database in the form of a modern electronic catalogue of this historic collection. The information contained in the database can facilitate interdisciplinary collaboration on research into various aspects of books printed in the past.