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A Leonardo Codex from the V&A Museum Goes Online

posted by Jason Kottke   Sep 06, 2018

Leonardo Forster

Leonardo Forster

A pair of notebooks kept by Leonardo da Vinci have been scanned and put online by the Victoria & Albert Museum. The notebooks, collectively known as Codex Forster I, are part of a set of five total notebooks that the museum plans to put online by 2019.

Leonardo seems to have begun recording his thoughts in notebooks from the mid-1480s when he worked as a military and naval engineer for the Duke of Milan. None of Leonardo’s predecessors, contemporaries or successors used paper quite like he did — a single sheet contains an unpredictable pattern of ideas and inventions — the workings of both a designer and a scientist.

This first Forster Codex joins other Leonardo notebooks available online: the Arudel Codex, the Madrid Codices, and Codex Trivulzianus. Bill Gates owns the Codex Leicester and has done high-res scans of it for a CD-ROM released in the 90s but hasn’t put it online anywhere. I asked Gates about it on Twitter and will let you know if I hear anything back… (via open culture)