Vetusta Monumenta, a title meaning “ancient monuments” in Latin, is a series of 337 large, lavish prints depicting artifacts that were found in England throughout the eighteenth, nineteenth, and early twentieth centuries. Inside Vetusta Monumenta‘s seven volumes, you’ll find the first portrait of a king in English history, a medieval drinking horn made out of an elephant’s tusk, Roman mosaics found underground in England, one-of-a-kind coins, jewels, manuscripts, ancient vases, lamps, bells, shields, and more.
Today, many of the artifacts that these prints depict are lost or damaged. Many others have aged or undergone irreversible renovations. Vetusta Monumenta remains the only record of many of the artifacts as they once were.
With the support of a generous, three-year NEH Scholarly Editions and Translations grant, Noah Heringman and I are currently leading a project in collaboration with the team at Scalar to preserve Vetusta Monumenta by rendering it into an innovative digital edition. Our edition develops new technologies that researchers and the public can freely use to search for images as well as text, evaluate archival material, and visualize data. Visit vetustamonumenta.org to watch our progress on this project!