The New BIA Platform

January 1, 2013

Over the past two years the IT team at the Medici Archive Project has been working on developing a new innovative digital platform, with generous support from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. At the 2012 Renaissance Society of America conference in Washington DC, MAP unveiled the new platform, which is called BIA. The name means "force" in in ancient Greek. We chose this name because we like to think it is representative of the power and strength that the digital humanities bring to scholarly research. We also chose it because Bia was the name Cosimo I’s illegitimate daughter and the subject of one of Bronzino’s most beautiful portraits.

Now in the final stages of development, these are some of the most important elements of BIA:

  • Preservation of documents with digitized images online
  • Enhanced Research possibilities through outsourcing
  • Involving the world in scholarly discourse

Digitized Images

By digitizing the entire Mediceo del Principato corpus, held in the Florentine State Archive, MAP is guaranteeing the long-term preservation of this precious archival resource. High resolution images can be magnified, making the on-screen document image in some cases easier to decipher than the original in the Archive. The researcher will see not only the single folio of the document of interest, but its context within the entire volume, easily ‘turning pages’ backward and forward. Every folio in the filza will be photographed, recto and verso.

Research Outsourcing
BIA will give the Medici Archive Project the possibility of widening the fellowship program. MAP will be able to outsource much of its research to a new category of researchers known as Distance Fellows. There will still be a permanent staff at the Archivio di Stato, however, specific volumes will be allotted to scholars around the world to be catalogued, transcribed, and contextualized so that we can expedite the completion of the project.
Community Forums
BIA will have the potential to involve the world at large in scholarly discourse. Scholars will be able to enter into dialog with one another by means of community comments. These are scholarly glosses, annotations, and corrections left on each document page. There will also be a Community Forum for discussion threads on individual persons, documents, and topics in the Mediceo del Principato.

If you would like to explore BIA, please register via the button below.