The Digitisation of the Vyšehrad Codex

Codex Vyssegradensis is one of the most significant manuscripts in the Czech Republic. It is deposited in the National Library of the Czech Republic under the shelf mark XIV.A.13. It was completed in 1086 as a gift on the occasion of the coronation of Duke Vratislav II as the king of Bohemia Vratislav I. It contains passages from the (pericopes), which were read during masses on fixed as well as variable religious holidays and sometimes on other occasions as well. Its commissioner may be sought among the representatives of Czech ecclesiastical institutions, but the manuscript is likely to have been made beyond the borders of the Czech state – in southern Germany or in the Danube Basin based on analogies in the illumination.

In 2007, the company AiP Beroun s.r.o. digitised this important national cultural treasure and made it accessible as commissioned by the National Library of the CR. The result of the complex digitisation process are digital image data in high quality and resolution made by document-friendly and contact-free scanning on the principle of digital photography while using colour management. Along with the digital images, also descriptive and technical metadata are created, which are crucial for making a digital copy accessible or for creating a faithful reproduction. A specific part of the digitisation projects focused on manuscripts is to ensure the safety of the original throughout the process. In this connection, we can mention for instance the special solution of the light sources of the digitisation devices equipped with IR and UV filtration.

A digital copy of the Vyšehrad codex is accessible online in the research environment of the Manuscriptorium.

In the Manuscriptorium, it is possible to browse the Vyšehrad Codex also in connection with other documents.

The digital data were also used to make the facsimile of the Vyšehrad Codex that was shown at the exhibition The Medieval Book at Your Fingertips in the National Library of the CR.