May 25, 2017
Heritage Innovation Visual arts

Have you ever wondered how the British Library conserves or digitalizes some of its largest pieces? Two public videos generously give us a behind-the-scenes of these spectacular procedures. Digitalizing one of the largest books of the collection requires a large room, custom made wooden pedestals, staircases, lights, a blanket, a photographer and a full load of patience. We’re talking about the Klenke Atlas, presented by Joannes Klencke to map-enthusiast Charles II king of England, in 1660. The book contained maps from the Golden Age of Dutch mapmaking – but, how large? A reputable 176 cm times 231 cm. Another XXL adventure is the conservation of Albrecht Dürer’s Triumphal Arch, 1515-17, the largest print of the British Museum collection. Printed from 195 blocks on 36 sheets with various scenes glorifying the house of Habsburg and Maximilian’s military achievements, it was the only one of the Emperor’s ambitious woodcut projects to be completed during his lifetime.

British Library behind the scenes
Credits: British Library, British Museum
Year: 2017
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