Codex Argenteus Online - The Project

Wulfila himself had the ambition to spread the Gothic text, and for his Bible translation he is said to have constructed the Gothic alphabet. 

Many hundreds of years later, when most of the manuscripts with Gothic Bible text were drowned in History’s mud, the aim of publishing every Gothic text line became very important. And since the Codex Argenteus was the most comprehensive Gothic document still extant, it became published in several editions during the centuries.

The reasons for editing the text have been of different kinds: religious, chauvinistic, philological, and others. In the 18th century and later on, the philological reasons have been predominant.

Scanning and publishing the Codex Argenteus and its editions is a project originally meant to serve scholars and students of philology interested in the Gothic language. But even historians, archaeologists, and others interested in the Gothic culture can benefit from the project, as well as everyone curious about Gothic script and culture: tourists and pupils in the "Silver Bible Room" in Uppsala, the public in general, thirsting for learning.

The inventor and initiator of the project is David Landau, MA, MSc, in Tampere, Finland. In his master thesis at Tampere University of Technology 2003, Digitizing Text Heritage, he made a first plan and description of the actual project in chapter 5 (pp. 23–30). At that time, Landau had already scanned, coded, and indexed the 1927 edition of Codex Argenteus, a kind of pilot project that made it possible to display the text on the Internet via the website of Uppsala University Library.

Magnús Snædal, Professor of General Linguistics at University of Iceland, was very soon involved in the project. His specialist competence regarding the Gothic language – his comprehensive inventory A Concordance to Biblical Gothic 1998 is a standard work in Gothic philology – made him fit for supervising the philological aspects of the project.

This project has been possible to realise thanks to funds from Riksbankens Jubileumsfond (The Bank of Sweden Tercentenary Foundation). The foundation has provided the main financing of the project.

The photography job, the scanning, is carried out at the Photographic Services of Uppsala University Library in cooperation with the Library’s Section for Preservation. The integration of the scanned material into the Library’s website is completed by the Graphic Services.