13 April 2013

Noah to Edward IV: The Canterbury Roll Digitised

Courtesy of the University of
Canterbury Library
The University of Canterbury has digitised its fifteenth-century manuscript roll, which traces the genealogy of the kings of England from Noah to Edward IV. The roll, which measures 489 centimetres in length, has been in the university's collections since 1918 and is the only medieval roll known in the Southern Hemisphere.

The website aims to 'provide a high quality digital archive of the manuscript that will allow an international public to view and make use of this unique treasure [which has been] photographed to an archival standard in an effort to aid its preservation and to ensure the best viewing experience'.

The scrolling contents page allows visitors to navigate through the roll and includes a general commentary on/ description of each section. The informative website also provides an introduction to the roll and the overall project, explores the provenance of the manuscript, and offers commentary on the scroll's biblical and mythological elements and use as a tool in political propaganda.

The roll can be viewed in its entirety here and downloaded here.

The digitised manuscript project was developed by Chris Jones, Senior Lecturer in History at the University of Canterbury. Much of the work was done by Maree Shirota, one of Chris's Honours (now MA) students, whose master's thesis is centred on the Canterbury Roll.

Congratulations to everyone who was involved in this very worthwhile project!

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