Emblematica Online I & II
Project Director: Mara Wade, Professor of Germanic Languages & Literatures
Grant Program: NEH/DFG (Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft) Bilateral Digital Humanities Grant; Humanities Collections and Reference Resources
Years: 2009–2012; 2013–2015
"From its first inception Emblematica Online has been an international project led by researchers at the University of Illinois (PI: Mara R. Wade, Co-PIs: Timothy W. Cole, Myung-Ja K. Han, Harriett Green) and the Herzog August Bibliothek, Wolfenbüttel (PI: Thomas Stäcker). An NEH/DFG Bilateral Digital Humanities Grant funded the joint project that allowed us to establish the virtual digital collection of rare Renaissance emblem books and create a prototype portal for finding the emblems within the books. Currently, U of I researchers are completing an NEH Humanities Collections and Reference Resources Grant that has allowed us to expand the virtual collections to include emblem books from the Getty Research Institute Library and Duke University Library as well as books and their associated metadata for the individual emblems within them from Utrecht University and Glasgow University. DFG–funded research also continues on the German side. Researchers at Emblematica Online have established a carefully curated library of digital emblematica (1,361 facsimiles) and created its associated OpenEmblem Portal for discovery of emblems within a select subset of books (~30,000 individual emblems) and across internationally dispersed collections. OpenEmblem Portal functionality is based on Iconclass indexing which also links to related resources for Renaissance studies, such as the Virtual Print Room (VKK) with access to over 40,000 graphic prints and Festival Culture Online with access to over 567 fully digitized Renaissance festival books. In this manner, researchers are contributing to the development of semantic web technologies. An international collaboration for all areas of Renaissance studies, Emblematica Online offers free and open access to a vibrant genre of early modern books and provides an authoritative foundation for new research."