Proteomics of Medieval Manuscripts

Some excerpts:

„In recent years, proteomic studies of art works and archeological remains have yielded biological information of startling clarity, revealing gossamer-thin layers of fish glue on seventeenth-century religious sculptures and identifying children’s milk teeth from pits of previously unrecognizable Neolithic bones. In 2008, researchers were able to sequence the proteins of a harbor seal that remained on the surface of six-hundred-year-old cooking pots found at an Inuit site in northern Alaska. Three years later, chemists found a hundred and twenty-six different proteins in a mammoth femur. With new proteomic techniques emerging constantly, the field has a heady, chaotic atmosphere of possibility. […]

Righetti was elated to see seven-hundred-and-fifty-year-old proteins showing up clearly in the data. He described the findings in a paper, which added to the small but growing literature about the proteomics of medieval manuscripts. […]

Seventy-five years after his death, Bulgakov’s molecules were all over his papers, and Zilberstein had found them, while leaving the documents intact. “This was the opening of the Ali Baba cavern,” Righetti told me. […]

Since 2011, Collins has used the rubbings to gather biological information about medieval European cattle, sheep, and goats. He calls his work “bio-codicology”—an updated form of the traditional study of physical manuscripts. […]

I showed a draft of Righetti’s paper to Ulinka Rublack, a history professor at the University of Cambridge, who is an authority on Kepler’s life and writing. She, too, was unconvinced. Unlike Brahe, who was a wealthy aristocrat, Kepler was always hard up, and he avoided working with his hands, an unlikely combination for an alchemist.“

European funders detail their open-access plan

„Plan S, the contentious plan that a group of European science funders hopes will end scholarly journals’ paywalls, has fleshed out its rules—and softened its tone a bit. In seven pages of implementation guidance released today, the funders explain how their grantees can abide by Plan S rules come 2020, when it goes into effect.“ (Sciencemag)

No Persistent Identifiers in the British Library

„At present, items in our digital collections do not, as such, have ‘persistent’ identifiers such as digital object identifiers (DOIs), however, we are currently building a new repository, which will enable digital content (collection items, datasets, articles, etc.) to be assigned DOIs. The British Library also works closely with the International Standard Name Index and ORCID to develop persistent identifiers for researchers and connect scholarly communications across the network. The British Library is part of the FREYA project to develop an infrastructure for persistent identifiers in European research. You can find more information about the FREYA project and its ambassador programme here:“ (Mail from Sarah Stewart, Data Services Specialist).

See (Postscript)

Jewish Digital Collections

„Diane Romm sent me a heads-up about a new site of hers: Jewish Digital Collections at . She described it in her email as “an annotated list of more than 350 sites that house digitized collections of Jewish material divided into 22 subject areas.” There’s a Google custom search engine for the site and I suggest you use it; searching the CSE for Torah found five results, while searching the full Google search engine for Torah found only three.“

Wikidata Turns 6: A Special Interview with Denny Vrandečić

An interview with Dr. Denny Vrandečić, founder of Wikidata, on the occasion of its 6th birthday. The Interview was filmed as part of a new academic course at Tel Aviv University called „From Web 2.0 to Web 3.0, from Wikipedia to Wikidata“, led by educator & Wikimedian Shani Evenstein Sigalov.

Amazon: “The biggest e-commerce giant in the world apparently finds it too complicated to do business in Prague”

„More than 250 antiquarian book dealers in 24 countries say they are pulling over a million books off an Amazon-owned site for a week, an impromptu protest after the site abruptly moved to ban sellers from several nations.

The flash strike against the site, AbeBooks, which is due to begin Monday, is a rare concerted action by vendors against any part of Amazon, which depends on third-party sellers for much of its merchandise and revenue. The protest arrives as increasing attention is being paid to the extensive power that Amazon wields as a retailer — a power that is greatest in books.

The stores are calling their action Banned Booksellers Week. The protest got its start after AbeBooks sent emails last month to booksellers in countries including South Korea, Hungary, the Czech Republic and Russia to say that it would no longer “support” them. “

Via (more links)

How is Open Access developing in the context of Open Science?

See also

Via the highly recommended Kultur-News


Manuscripts from the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms online

„Ahead of the Library’s Anglo-Saxon Kingdoms exhibition, we are delighted to announce that over 200 manuscripts made or owned in England before 1100 can now be viewed in full online on our Digitised Manuscripts website, along with the surviving single-sheet documents produced before the Norman Conquest.“