A new highlight on the BSR Digital Collections website

A new highlight on the BSR Digital Collections website

The BSR Digital Collections webpage is looking better than ever, as a result of a long-term project to update our website and associated pages. The platform allows easy access to over 28,000 objects digitised on the site, designed to enrich your research, and provide insight into the BSR’s rich collections. With new content being added all the time, we’re so excited about our Digital Collections and their future – take a look, we think you’ll be impressed.

Featured on the website are a number of highlights, selected by our Library & Archive team as particularly interesting, or grouped together as part of a wider collection. An example, and a brand new highlight, is the G.B. Piranesi Print Catalogue Project, led by Clare Hornsby and Caroline Barron.

G.B. Piranesi Print Catalogue Project by Clare Hornsby and Caroline Barron

The 139 loose prints (etchings) made by Giambattista and his son Francesco Piranesi in the 18th century in Rome that were part of Thomas Ashby’s collection at the BSR were restored around twenty years ago but not catalogued and thus were rather invisible to BSR award holders and to other scholars.

The aim of the project launched in 2021, to coincide with the belated celebrations of the 300th anniversary of the visionary Venetian architect’s birth, is to create an online catalogue entry for each of the prints and eventually to include the other illustrated books as part of the BSR Digital Collections website.

Each print will be described briefly and a full bibliographic record for each will be made by Library staff. The images have been scanned to a very high quality, accompanying the text.

This project is intended to be a long-term collaboration between BSR Research Fellow, art historian Clare Hornsby and Caroline Barron, Assistant Professor in Classics (Roman History) at Durham University, as curators and authors.

There will be a small exhibition of about 20 prints each year at BSR, held in the foyer of the Lecture Hall. The first was in June 2021, attended by the BSR community and invited guests and the newly launched online Catalogue includes the prints in that exhibition. The catalogue will be extended annually following the exhibition, which in 2022 will take place in mid-November.

The Print Catalogue is the second Highlight to feature Piranesi’s work – the first was launched in May 2021 and focuses on the Campo Marzio volume with a research essay by Clare Hornsby.

The project would not have been possible without the enthusiasm and support of Valerie Scott, BSR librarian for many years who retired in August 2021 and with the kind permission of Chris Wickham, the interim Director. Thanks are due to them, to the new Director Abigail Brundin and to all BSR staff who have helped to put this together.

Click here to discover the new Piranesi catalogue online.

View of the river port of Ripa Grande c. 1757

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