Following Jeremy’s post the other day I’m sure I’m not the only one who has been checking out Archive.org (thank you, Jeremy!), and I just want to say how fantastic I think it is. Not just for the Notizie degli Scavi, which will be incredibly useful, but for all the other documents and books that have been put on-line. Here are just a few of the books that you can now read on-line:
Venuti’s Description of the first discoveries of the ancient city of Herculaneum (1750) and Bellicard’s Observations upon the antiquities of the ancient town of Herculaneum (1754);
the letters of Cochin (1751) and Winckelmann (1764) about the earliest excavations;
Hamilton’s Account of the discoveries at Pompeii (1777);
Jorio’s Real Museo Borbonico (1825);
Gell’s Pompeiana (1852);
William Henry Davenport’s Cities of Campania (1872);
Fiorelli’s Descrizione di Pompei (1875);
Mau’s Pompeii. Its Life and Art (1899);
Charles Waldstein’s Herculaneum (1908).
And lots, lots more. In some respects it’s quite a random collection. There is even a podcast of a group of Cardiff-based Dr Who fans discussing the ‘Fires of Pompeii’ episode (which, by the way, has just been nominated for a BAFTA TV Craft award!). But it is fantastic that so many of these publications that up until now we’ve only be able to read in large research libraries are now available on-line. The collection is going to make my (research!) life so much easier when I get back to Swansea in the summer. I am all for digitizing books! (And another aside: the University of Michigan Press has just announced that from now on the majority of its publications will be in digital format).