Codex Eyckensis

donderdag 2 juni 2016

Codex Eyckensis Online!

The Codex Eyckensis, the oldest illuminated manuscript of the Low Countries,
is available on line!


As “cultural jewel of the Maasland region” the town of Maaseik once more invests in its heritage. For many years now, Saint Catherine’s church has held as its most prized possession an absolute highlight of medieval illumination: the Codex Eyckensis, an exquisitely illuminated Gospel Book dating back to the 8th century. This masterpiece deserves recognition! Over the course of the coming years the town of Maaseik will therefore invest in various projects aimed at increasing the scientific presence and tourist appeal of the Codex Eyckensis. One of these projects is the digitisation of the Codex Eyckensis.

Under the leadership of Professor Lieve Watteeuw and in cooperation with the KU Leuven Imaging Lab (Bruno Vandermeulen) and with the KU Leuven Illuminare – Centre for the study of Medieval Art, the Codex Eyckensis was accurately digitised at very high resolution. A mobile digitisation lab was set up at the church treasury to enable the manuscript to be examined and photographed on site and in optimal circumstances.

We decided to make the 8th-century manuscript available to the Maaseik and Maasland public, but also to give access to a wider national and international audience, as well as to the scientific community. With this purpose in mind, we opted for access via the Mirador Viewer. This viewer enables digital images to be displayed within a working environment and at very high resolution, facilitating the comparison between different images, for example.

In addition we gave a great deal of consideration to the need for the long-term preservation of the digital images, which is one of the major objectives of UNESCO. For this aspect, we were fortunate to be able to appeal to the skills and experience of LIBIS (KU Leuven). The data were uploaded to the Rosetta System, which ensures proper and effective archiving, preservation and access to the files.

To extend this improved availability to the international level, access to the digitised Codex Eyckensis will be provided via the portals of Europeana and Erfgoedplus, and through

In addition to the Codex Eyckensis, there is another, lesser-known 10th-century Gospel Book held in the depository of the Maaseik Museums. This manuscript as well has been digitised and made available to the scientific community. Recently professor Vanderputten from the University of Ghent has examined this manuscript on site. He agrees that making documents available in digital form would make it easier to study and examine them more efficiently.
Link to the digitised 10th-century Gospel Book

This project was made possible by the support of the following partners: