Medieval manuscripts blog

Bringing our medieval manuscripts to life

22 June 2019

Join us at Leeds

The Polonsky Foundation England and France Project: Manuscripts from the British Library and the Bibliothèque nationale de France, 700-1200 will be hosting a session at the Leeds International Medieval Congress this year. Join us for a roundtable discussion exploring ways to increase the impact of research on medieval manuscripts within the Research Excellence Framework, using this project as a model.

A page from a 12th-century manuscript, showing an illustration of the Annunciation to the shepherds.

The Annunciation to the shepherds (northern France or southern Netherlands, 3rd quarter of the 12th century): Cotton MS Caligula A VII, f. 6v

We would love to see you on Tuesday 2 July at 19:00 for Session 924. Download our flyer here..

We will have a panel of four:

  • Dr Kathleen Doyle (Lead Curator of Illuminated Manuscripts at the British Library), supervisor of the project.
  • Tuija Ainonen (Merton College, Oxford/The Bodleian Library), who served as the project manager. Tuija is currently Medieval Manuscripts Electronic Catalogue Project Officer at Merton College, working on the migration of its catalogue of medieval manuscripts to the new Oxford digital catalogue, as well as Project Cataloguer on the #PolonskyGerman project at the Bodleian.
  • Dr Alison Ray (Canterbury Cathedral Archives and Library), the project’s web content officer. Alison looks after the medieval and modern collections at Canterbury. She wrote her PhD at UCL on the pecia system of book production.
  • Professor Joanna Story (Professor of Early Medieval History, University of Leicester), who co-supervises with Kathleen a collaborative doctoral student who worked on the project. Jo was an academic advisor of the Library’s recent Anglo-Saxon Kingdoms exhibition, as well as being co-editor of the exhibition book.

As regular readers of this Blog will know, the England and France Project was an ambitious and innovative project to digitise, promote and interpret 800 manuscripts made in England or France before 1200, generously funded by The Polonsky Foundation. We produced two websites: one with complete digital coverage of all 800 manuscripts hosted by the Bibliothèque nationale de France; the second, hosted by the British Library, seeks to interpret this research for students and the general public, with 30 articles, 11 videos and over 150 general descriptions of specific manuscripts.

A page from a medieval bestiary, showing an illustration of a selection of fish and sea creatures.

A selection of fish and sea creatures in a medieval bestiary (England, early 13th century): Harley MS 4751, f. 68r

At the roundtable we will discuss how to demonstrate quantitative and qualitative impact in funded projects, and how to maximise usage and knowledge transfer using social media, blogs and traditional news outlets. We will welcome your questions and comments, and will aim to make this session as interactive as possible. 


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