I now have little excuse to travel and see the manuscripts in person. Of course once can still make the argument, especially if one’s area of research is primarily focused on manuscripts themselves it is absolutely necessary. But for those of us who simply need the text to see textual variances and so on, a high quality digital image is often better than looking at the real thing.
Case in point: this gorgeous digital image of TgLam 3:25-26 sent to me from the Stadtbibliothek Nürnberg. The clarity is unbelievable. Plus, it gives me another opportunity to point out the even medieval scribes understood that footnotes are good and end notes are evil. (And note the image in that linked post. That copy of this same passage was scanned from color slides I received a decade ago. The new, direct to digital image is so much better, isn’t it?)