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Handwriting & Bookmaking the Middle Ages
Author & DirectorBernard J. Muir
Software & DesignNick Kennedy
Research AssistantAbby Robinson
Release DateAvailable now
Software Requirements:Mozilla Firefox 2+ (Win, Mac & Linux), Safari 3+ (Win & Mac)
MS Internet Explorer 6+ for MS Windows,
Macromedia Flash Player 8 (or greater)
Ductus, from the Latin ducere (to lead), is a digital program designed for the teaching of Latin paleography either locally or via the internet. The program is based on 66 extremely high resolution facsimiles of manuscripts from the period 150-1500 CE. It includes videos depicting a (modern) scribe at work, a 15-session course, and extensive glossaries and support documentation. It is already used by teachers and independent scholars around the world. In 2000 it received 'The Australian Award for Excellence in Tertiary Educational Multimedia'. Ductus is available either for use by individuals or by institutions with a site-licensing arrangement.
The manuscript images are of very high resolution and a movable magnifying glass makes it easy to study the scripts in minute detail. The transcript for each line can be viewed by passing the mouse over the line number.
The program also includes video clips showing how the scripts were most likely written by medieval scribes. The second release has a section devoted to recent developments in the digital analysis of scripts as created by our development group, 'Medieval Multimedia' (medieval manuscripts in the Multi-medium Aevum.
Interactive supporting documentation includes comprehensive glossaries of over 300 terms with illustrations, manuscript types, full transcriptions, a bibliography and an electronic portfolio of associated art work. Below is an example of a Ductus glossary term. (Note: Because this is only an example, the hyperlinks are not active.)
calamus: The reed pen used by scribes in antiquity; it was gradually replaced by the quill made from a feather.
Ductus is in DVD-ROM format and runs in a web browser (Firefox, Safari, Opera or Internet Explorer), making it suitable for either local or remote use (via the web). Remote users can access high resolution images mounted locally from the DVD-ROM while connected directly to the home site during a session.
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