Living by the Book:
Monks, Nuns and Their Manuscripts

The exhibition of manuscripts offers a unique challenge, since a page opening may only be exhibited once every 5 years for conservation reasons. Digitization provides something of a solution to this necessary limitation, and over the past five years, The Walters has been digitally imaging its renowned collection of 923 manuscripts to enable unprecedented public access to fragile texts. Thanks to three generous grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities, there are currently 97,706 images from 311 manuscripts available online, with another 48,000 images planned. The result is the creation of an ever-growing online resource of catalogued digital surrogates of illuminated manuscripts made freely available at under a Creative Commons license. On the Walters’ “Works of Art” site you can flip through the pages of one-of-a-kind manuscripts, as you can here on this kiosk. Henry Walters left his art not to the museum, but to the people, and digitizing is one way we can continue the mission of the Walters: to bring art and people together.

Click an Image Below to Read a Book