Blog Posts : Behind the Scenes

The following blogs provide a look behind the scenes of St John’s special collections, focusing on our Digitisation Project and the amazing conservation work carried out by the Oxford Conservation Studio (find out more about their fascinating work at Oxford Conservation Consortium – The Chantry Library).


Capturing Gold Leaf: Photographing St Johns College MS 26

By Sophie Bacchus-Waterman, Special Collections Photographer A number of the items which are going to be digitized for the St Johns College Digitization Project include gold leaf. The application of gold leaf to illuminations was done by hand, and the process is still the same as it was centuries ago. We are lucky enough to…

The Conservation of Peter Small’s Pedigree

by Emma Skinner, Oxford Conservation Consortium November 2022 Before Treatment This large sixteenth-century genealogical table recently arrived at the Oxford Conservation Consortium’s studio for treatment. It provides the pedigree for Peter Small, who was elected as a Founder’s Kin Fellow of St John’s in 1597.[1] It was bound with a nineteenth-century printed list of Founder’s…

Behind the Scenes of Digitization

By Sophie Bacchus-Waterman, Special Collections Photographer As the imaging phase of St John’s digitization project gets underway, I thought it was a good time to introduce my role in the project, and give a behind-the-scenes look at what it takes to digitize books from the imaging side of the project (for information on the metadata,…

St John’s TEI Project

Over the past 465 years, St John’s College Oxford has acquired and preserved a large variety of special collections, aiding research and interest in the manuscripts, early printed books, and personal libraries the College holds. The latest development in St John’s management of these special collections is a project to digitise the manuscripts. Manuscript digitisation…

Ælfric and Ælfric Bata, Grammatical Texts, Manuscript 154

Ælfric and St John’s College At St John’s College special collections and manuscripts are the treasures of the Library. These are often invaluable for research purposes and, in some cases, are unique volumes.  Such irreplaceable objects require equally distinctive care and treatment, and St John’s is a member of the Oxford Conservation Consortium which provides…

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