Structure of the database

The sources


More than 500 sources (including manuscripts and printed texts) have been entered into the database, specifically located on the 'Sources' page. In the ‘List view’, the entries are tabulated optionally by place of conservation or edition, or by title, author or date. They can be ordered according to any one of the columns by clicking its title at the top.

Details such as title, language, location, the provenance and the circulation of these manuscripts and books (place and date of origin/publication), scribes or authors, previous owners, and a description of their technical and/or general content can all be viewed on this first interface, on the ‘detailed view’. The database also allows access to digital images of these sources via European Cultural Heritage Online (ECHO), or via digital collections made available by external institutes. 

The left vertical bar allows the sources to be searched by title, place of conservation or edition, or by keywords related to the subject topics they deal with. These subjects concern technical fields and materials but also the a priori unrelated subject texts found alongside these recipes within the same volume.

The database also makes the content of the recipe collections accessible at the level of the individual recipes. To date, more than 6,500 recipes—some consisting of only a few lines, others covering several folios—have been transcribed. These instructions are recorded on another specific page (entitled 'Recipes'). The recipes are also accessible from the first interface, which provides descriptions of the sources (from 'Detailed View' > 'Recipes'). It is also possible to navigate from a specific recipe (on the 'Recipes' page) back to the main metadata of its source, by clicking on the source title.


The recipes


The ‘Recipes' page allows users to consult the transcription of a particular recipe, and sometimes also provides a translation. It also gives access to the specific image of the original recipe text. This layout also enables users to see the data provided by the CICS database established by Doris Oltrogge (see collaboration partners).

Users can search for a specific request by library, source, title or ID number—a consecutive and unique number assigned to each individual source. It is also possible to search for specific words that appear either in the transcription or the translation of the recipe.

Moreover, the recipes are defined using keywords arranged in different thesauri (related to the artistic technique, the technical process and the main ingredients involved within the recipe process). Such subject classification enables queries to be made regarding specific recipes, methods or materials. 


The glossaries


The database also includes a complete list of the ingredients and substances mentioned in the recipes. Materials are indexed both by their current scientific name (‘Current name’) and by the terms exactly as they appear in the source texts (‘Historical name’).


The bibliography


References to primary and secondary sources, together with the related bibliographical data, are integrated throughout the database.


Digital material


Full images of the source texts are displayed within a Digital Document Library  window, distinct from the textual edition, allowing both windows to remain active for comparison.

Images can be accessed via the entries for individual sources or recipes, by clicking on the miniature at the top of the screen. The initial view shows the full-page image of the leaf. The right vertical bar offers a series of functions to visualize the current page and to navigate within the digitalized source. The ‘browse pages’ arrows review the other available images of whole pages. This function allows the user to leaf through all the pages of the manuscripts for which complete visual documentation exists.

The main functions of Digilib are the scaling and framing of the image in the viewing field. These commands can be used on the maximum-resolution image resident on the site's server, permitting the expedited net transmission of only the requested fields. The usefulness of enlargements for reading texts naturally depends upon the resolution of the image in question, which varies according to the way the image has been photographed (from 300 dpi for direct digital imagery to much more reduced parameters for details made under special lighting). The following buttons are available:

Zoom area defines a rectangular area within the image that will then be enlarged to the full size of the Digilib viewing field. Activate with three separate mouse clicks: first on the command button, second on the upper left-hand corner of the box to be drawn, third on the lower right-hand corner of the box. (Release mouse with each click, do not drag.)

Zoom point enlarges an area to the viewing field size around a point on the image selected by the user. To activate, click on the button and then on the desired point on the image.

Zoom out restores the image to full-frame size. This function will bring up the full-page view of single documents. In such cases four red markers denote the boundaries of the rectangle enclosing the initial document.

Move to moves the center of framing without changing the zoom level. This allows reading to continue beyond the edges of a zoomed image. Any marks affixed by the user (see below) will remain in the newly framed image.

Scale changes the scaling of an image without cutting it to the size of the viewing field. Scale 1.0 shows the image coterminous with the dimensions of the viewing field (the initial view); 2.0 twice the measure of that field, and so forth. Scroll bars appear alongside the main window for viewing large-scale images. Since the larger the image, the longer the Internet time needed to download it, this function is primarily recommended when a continuous view of the entire image treated is desired. Note that from this position the zoom out button works in relation to the scale currently selected.

Brightness, contrast and colours of the image can be adapted as desired.

For copyright norms regarding photographic reproductions of the sources published on this site, please see the copyright section accessible from the lower horizontal help bar at the bottom of every page. Images of manuscripts are made available exclusively for an individual’s personal and scholarly use and cannot be reproduced in electronic or print publications.