29 October 2008

A Big Day for Fans of Archimedes

At 2pm on October 29th, 2008, ten years after the Archimedes Palimpsest was purchased by the present owner, the core data generated by the project to conserve, image and study the manuscript, will be released on the web. This will be the electronic product that Reviel Netz looked forward to, several years ago. Conceptually speaking, what we wanted to create then was a digital version of the Archimedes Palimpsest – and one that revealed the unique ancient texts in the manuscript that were scraped off and overwritten with a prayer book by Johannes Myronas in 1229AD.

That's the good news. The even better news is this:

1 Rights and Conditions of Use

The Archimedes Palimpsest data is released with license for use under Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported Access Rights. It is requested that copies of any published articles based on the information in this data set be sent to The Curator of Manuscripts, The Walters Art Museum, 600 North Charles Street, Baltimore MD 21201.

That's pretty incredible, and simply would not have been possible a few decades ago. Particular kudos goes to the present owner of the manuscript for making it available; for Larry Lessig and others for coming up with the Creative Commons licences; and for RMS for starting everything with his crazy GNU project.

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