The Digital Image Archive of Medieval Music (DIAMM)

Project start date: 1998-09 Project end date: 2009-12
The purpose of the Digital Image Archive of Medieval Music (DIAMM) is to obtain and archive directly-captured digital images of European sources of medieval polyphonic music. Where there is damage that makes these sources difficult to read, levels of digital restoration are also undertaken on copies of the original images to improve legibility and scholarly access. The project has created a new permanent electronic archive of these images, both to facilitate detailed study of this music and its sources, and to assure their permanent preservation. The sources archived include all the fragmentary sources of polyphony up to 1550 in the UK (and almost all of these are available for study through this website); all the 'complete' manuscripts in the UK; a small number of important representative manuscripts from continental Europe; a significant portion of fragments 1300-1450 from Belgium, France, Italy, Germany and Spain.
Methods usedCategory
2d Scanning and photographyData capture
CollatingData analysis
Data modellingData structuring and enhancement
Image enhancementData structuring and enhancement
Image feature measurementData analysis
Text encoding - descriptiveData structuring and enhancement
Text recognitionData capture
Statistical analysisData analysis
Use of existing digital dataData capture
Funding sources: 
Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC), Andrew W. Mellon Foundation
Content types created: 
Dataset/structured data, Still Image/Graphics, Text
Software tools used: 
MySQL, Perl, Microsoft Word, Quark Xpress, Hot Metal, FineReader OCR, ReadIris Pro OCR, Microsoft Excel, Microsoft PowerPoint, Adobe Acrobat Professional, Phase One, Filemaker Pro, Adobe Photoshop
Source material used:  
"Fragmentary and complete manuscript sources (usually parchment) of medieval polyphonic music from libraries throughout Europe, the USA and Australia. There are approx 220 contributing archives (libraries, record offices, private collections, academic institutions) from 11 countries. All digital images remain the intellectual property of the owner of the original source, and DIAMM archives and delivers online under licence from the owners. DIAMM is not an image supply service: scholars requiring copies of the original images must apply as usual to the owner of the document".
Digital resource created:  
"About 7,000 very high-quality COLOUR digital images of music MSS from c. 900 to c. 1550. An online study environment providing access to the images and accompanying intellectual metadata. Although the sources are of medieval music, the resource is accessed by scholars in the following fields: art history, codicology, literature, paleography, history. Those accessing the resource range in expertise from schools following historical projects to senior academics. The purpose of the resource is to make available a very widely scattered group of sources which have never before been accessible in a single environment and at comparable quality of reproduction. Virtual Restoration brings hitherto unknown information to light, and scholars are addressing a Medieval repertory to which they had little or no access before. Already a new generation of scholars is becoming interested in the field, and methods of scholarly approach to the repertory are changing because of the physical access provided by DIAMM".
Access to digital resource:  
Open Access
Data Formats created: 
FileMaker Pro, MySQL, Tagged Image File Format (TIFF), Extensible Markup Language (XML) TEI-compliant
Generation of HTML and Java-driven on-the-fly presentation of flat data and that stored in a MySQL database format; production of Zoomified TIF images and small JPEG and PNG images from larger-format uncompressed originals for web consultation; extraction of metadata in FilemakerPro format to MySQL via perl scripts
Metadata standards employed: 
Dublin Core, simple (DC), Metadata Object Description Schema (MODS)

Institutions affiliated with this project: 

UK HE institutions involved:
University of Oxford
Royal Holloway

Project staff and expertise: 

Principal staff member:Dr Margaret Bent; Dr Marilyn Deegan; Professor Andrew Wathey
Other staff:PhD student(s), Postdoctoral researcher(s) / Research assistant(s)
External expertise:

Metadata on this record
Author(s) of recordJulia Craig-McFeely
TitleThe Digital Image Archive of Medieval Music (DIAMM)
Record created2005-11-07
Record updated2011-01-14 15:39
URL of record
Citation of recordJulia Craig-McFeely: The Digital Image Archive of Medieval Music (DIAMM).
created: 2005-11-07, last updated 2011-01-14 15:39