In these days, the milestone of 500 manuscripts fully digitized and freely accessible online by connecting to the site https://ambrosiana.comperio.it/library-digital ., without any subscription or registration, has been reached.
Among the 500 specimens, are very ancient manuscripts of capital importance for the history of knowledge, as well as many beautifully decorated and illuminated manuscripts, for a total of over 287,000 images, equal to more than 13 terabytes.
Even in a complicated period, marked by the pandemic that is still in progress, work has not stopped; indeed, it has proved to be of great help to scholars: to date, in fact, over 23,000 users from all over the world have been able to consult the material in the Ambrosiana digital library.
Due to the lockdown and subsequent precautionary limitations that prevented the work from continuing in presence at the Ambrosiana digitization laboratory, the Data Curation activities on the collections of digital images created in the course of previous projects and the consequent growth of the digital collections has always been active and conducted remotely.
All the efforts undertaken in this sense were fundamental to achieving the goal of 500 fully digitized manuscripts: for this purpose the technical characteristics of the project itself played a key role, from the very first moment strongly aimed at the service to users; having joined (the first Italian library) the community of the International Image Interoperability Framework-IIIF, in fact, has allowed the digital library of the Ambrosiana to confirm itself as a flexible platform with agile consultation through different types of electronic devices: from computers desktops, laptops, up to mobile devices featuring small screens, such as smartphones and tablets.
In this way, the project continues to achieve its general objectives, that is, to enhance the main manuscript collections, in order to encourage their use and preservation, ad publicum commodum et utilitatem (“for public good and utility”), according to the expression of the founder of the Ambrosiana, the far-sighted cardinal Federico Borromeo.