The BASIRA team has been doing a fair bit of traveling recently, with intriguing connections and a great deal of learning along the way. In some ways, attending the 11th annual Schoenberg Symposium of Manuscript Studies (SIMS) in the fall of 2018 has been the most significant encounter. While in Philadelphia, Barbara made the acquaintance of Emma Cawlfield, program manager of the Schoenberg Database of Manuscripts; Emma introduced us to VIAF, and to other database protocols we’ll be working to implement. We also met Nicholas Herman, SIMS’ Curator of Manuscripts, whose interest in the portrayal of books in art was an immediate connection. Over the following months, the Schoenberg Institute and the BASIRA Project explored mutual interests; we are now making plans to re-develop the database and move its hosting to the University of Pennsylvania. One of the most exciting outcomes will be the ability to (finally!) make the database freely open for use with any standard web browser. This is a work in progress; stay tuned.
Meanwhile, we have set up a Guest access account; if you have access to FileMakerPro, send us a message, and we’ll be glad to send you guidelines for perusing the images and their metadata in their current format. Any and all suggestions for revisions to the data scheme will be gladly welcomed.