The Webby Award winners and nominees for 2008 are out and one of the nominees was “The Calligraphic World of Mi Fu’s Art” from the National Palace Museum, and it’s on calligraphy. UF’s Digital Collections don’t have as much related material as we’d like (but we’re digitizing 100,000 pages a month so we’ll get there), but we do have the 24-volume set of “Qin ding xi Qing gu jian” and we made a few pages into a Flash flipbook to help display the beauty of the volumes.
Jane Pen has been instrumental in getting “Qin ding xi Qing gu jian” digitized and she’ll be visiting Taiwan this May 24-31, and meeting with the library at Tamkang University. Hopefully this will lead to more partnerships with libraries and museums, especially with so many museums in Taiwan are actively involved in digitization projects.
“The Calligraphic World of Mi Fu’s Art” is an excellent site because it does something that couldn’t easily be done without the technologies it uses. For many of the other Webby Award sites this is also true, but many others are aesthetically pleasing first and then accessible second or not at all. For some sites like the National Palace Museum’s site tools to recognize calligraphy or handwriting akin to Optical Character Recognition simply aren’t yet available at the level they’re needed to make the site as accessible as possible, but the site still has a great deal of other accessible information. In the meantime, “The Calligraphic World of Mi Fu’s Art” is a beautiful site and one that will hopefully be enriched even further in the near future with new technologies.