Thursday, 9 July 2009

Auckland City Library, Sir George Grey, and the Centre for the Study of New Testament Manuscripts.

The Auckland Connection
Sue Cooper from Auckland City Libraries has been on touch to comment on the Codex Sinaiticus story and to tell us that ACL had a great experience when they contributed to a similar type of project by the Centre for the Study of New Testament Manuscripts.

CSTM web site
Sue reports on her blog, "We provided the Centre with two 12th century manuscripts (thanks to Sir George Grey) in Greek on parchment to digitise and these are now available on the CSNTM website along with several thousand other manuscripts. The CSNTM spent 40 weeks on the road last year around the world photographing the texts"

She goes on to say, " While digital versions can never replace the original manuscripts, digitisation is a vital tool for increasing public access to rare items, at the same time creating a disaster-proof record and perhaps unearthing new information and creating new knowledge. Many scholars will never have seen the items in Auckland City Libraries - this virtual reunifying is discovery indeed."

Amen to that - Sue is the at ACl and her blog, Scooper on Libraries, is here.

Governor George Grey
Sir George Grey was one of New Zealand's first governors. By all accounts he was a considerable figure. He served two terms, and then entered Parliament. He was the first person to have held both positions.

He was known as both a scholar and a diplomat. This reputation has sometimes hidden from view his other capabilities, including a certain ruthlessness in obtaining Maori land title for the glamouring needs of the new Pakeha [non Maori] settlers.

NZ online history sources
Te Ara, the NZ Encyclopedia has some good material on the man and the events that surrounded his life, especially in the Auckland section. See also the extensive entry in the Dictionary of NZ Biography, here and the excellent NZ History site, here

The Grey Collection
Grey was a great collector of books, manuscripts, and other ephemera, including a Shakespeare First Folio. He donated his entire collection to the Auckland City Library and it became the foundaton to their world class special collection. The manuscripts mentioned above by Sue Cooper come from this source.

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