Biblioclasm and digital reconstruction
More and more often a manuscript, sold for an affordable price by large auction houses, is bought by a team of medium-sized antiquarian galleries and then dismembered. Usually, such galleries share quires of the parent manuscript, and over time they put on the market single leaves from different quires, thus making the purchase of consecutive portions of the parent manuscript practically impossible. The paradigm of 'preserving the original' applied to manuscripts that have literally been torn apart and whose pieces now reside in alien hands is a true oxymoron. The project envisages to digitally reconstruct dismembered medieval manuscripts, from various European areas, whose scattered leaves are sold on the antiquarian book market.
The solution is based on a new methodology I called WayBack Recovery(c) (WBRM, described in a newly published handbook for the RECEPTIO Academic Press) that can actually make manuscripts thought to be lost forever digitally accessible again to scholars.
The WBRM allows not only to find a large number of digital fragments of scattered leaves from manuscripts that have been dismembered, but also to digitally reassemble a truly huge number of codices.
With a research team I have already digitally reassembled ten manuscripts. In addition to these ten manuscripts already reconstructed, I have identified many other manuscript fragments sold worldwide on the antiquarian book market. I am therefore seeking funding for the Biblioclasm and dital reconstruction project and thus save more manuscripts through the WBRM.