La Sfera Challenge I
May 22-June 5, 2020
La Sfera Challenge I, which took place between May 22 and June 5, 2020, was a two-week competition pitting international teams of scholars against each other in a race to transcribe three different copies of one text, Goro Dati’s fifteenth-century geographic treatise, La Sfera.
The manuscript copies were housed in three countries, and each team transcribed the copy located in its respective locale according to challenge guidelines:
- Team USA worked with the version housed at the Yale University’s Beinecke Library, MS 328, ff. 1r-24v.
- Equipe France used a copy from the Bibliothèque Nationale de France, Arsenal MS 8536, ff. 55r-78v
- Squadra Italia transcribed the text and images found in the Vatican Library, Urb. Lat. 752, ff. 3r-26v
UPDATE: At day 2 of the Challenge (May 24), the three witnesses became available in a IIIF Mirador View for easy comparison. Click on the “quote” icon to see the transcriptions in their current state.
The competition was sponsored by the IIIF Consortium, FromThePage, and Stanford Libraries.
You can track how the challenge progressed on Twitter at #LaSferaChallenge
Team USA was headed by Benjamin L. Albritton, Rare Books Curator and Bibliographer for Classics, Stanford Libraries, and Laura K. Morreale, Independent Scholar. See Team USA’s page for their progress updates.
Equipe France was headed by Régis Robineau, Portal Manager, Biblissima, Emma Stanford, formerly of the Bodleian Libraries, and Anne McLaughlin, The Parker Library, Corpus Christi College. The team page for Equipe France features updates on participants and progress.
Squadra Italia was led by Paola Manoni, Responsible for the Coordination of IT Services, Vatican Apostolic Library, and Claudia Montuschi, Head of the Manuscripts Department of the Vatican Apostolic Library. Squadra Italia’s team page kept participants and followers up to date on their progress.