Loginskip to content

Archive for the 'News' Category

Geographies of Orthodoxy

Saturday, January 6th, 2007

We are happy to announce that the Imagining History project team has just received funding from Britain’s Arts and Humanities Research Council for a new three-year collaborative research project. The project, entitled “Geographies of Orthodoxy: mapping Pseudo-Bonaventuran Lives of Christ, 1350-1550,” is the first extensive investigation of vernacular lives of Christ, including Nicholas Love’s Mirror, and hopes to reassess current models of vernacular theology, orthodoxy and religious dissent in the period leading up to the English Reformation(s).

The grant will allow us to appoint two postdoctoral research fellows and one doctoral student for a period of three years. The project’s principal investigator is Professor John Thompson and its co-investigators are Dr Stephen Kelly (Queen’s) and, in an exciting development, Dr Ian Johnson (St Andrew’s). As one of the leading authorities on late medieval religious writing and medieval literary theory, we are looking forward to working with Ian!

Visit the project website here:


The Future of the Imagining History website

Saturday, January 6th, 2007

The Imagining History project officially ended in early 2006. However, we have been committed to developing the project website into a collaborative platform for scholarship on medieval historiographical writing. In the coming months, we hope - finally - to implement the collaborative phase of the site.

What will that involve? We hope, in the first instance, to further test the viability of the wiki software platform. Contributors will be allowed to publish MS descriptions, short entries, and so on, after completing a registration process. The collaborative phase of the site will only succeed if people collaborate so we look forward to hear from the scholarly community. Use the commenting facility below to contact us if you are interested!

Print Stylesheet

Wednesday, August 9th, 2006

We’ve finally applied the new print stylesheet to the site. This cleans up all unnecessary formatting, images, etc., and provides users with a crisp grayscale print-out. Some users using old browsers - such as Internet Explorer 5 and earlier - may have difficulties; if so, please email us.

Gavin Cole/ Rylands MSS. descriptions

Monday, August 7th, 2006

Many thanks to Gavin Cole who described several of the manuscripts in the John Rylands Library  for the project team (Eng. 103 and Eng. 206).  Gavin is currently finishing his PhD thesis entitled, ‘A textual study of CV-1333 of the Middle English Prose Brut Chronicle’, a work which is eagerly anticipated by the project team.  A brief synopsis of Gavin’s doctoral research follows:

“This project investigates the  origins and dissemination of CV-1333 thorugh the examination of the textual relationships of the extant medieval witnesses to this textual version. The study considers the use of textual data both to suggest genetic relationships between the manuscripts, and to examine individual scribal reactions to the text. Making use of the Anglo-Norman Long Version, it examines not only the scribal dissemination of CV-1333 but also the relationship of CV-1333 with the AN source. This thesis suggests that acts of  translation and scribal copying both exist within a wider framework of textual revision and that these acts are interpretative as well as replicative. This study stresses the need for textual critics to investigate the text ‘in process’ and see the relation of the material witnesses to not only the postulated ’original’ or the immediate exemplar, but also to the various processes which generated them. “

Gavin’s descriptions were formed against the project’s template for manuscript description, but demonstrate his own distinctive interest and expertise in textual issues. Look out for further contributions to the website by Gavin, whose research is serving to unravel the genetic relationships encoded in the CV-1333 corpus.

If anyone would like to contribute information on the other Rylands Brut MSS., or indeed, any of the MSS. in the corpus, please contact the project team.


Friday, July 21st, 2006

… to Dr Ryan Perry and his wife Michelle. Michelle gave birth to a little boy (Christopher) yesterday evening at 5.30 pm. The baby weighed in at 8lb 8oz. Ryan has already introduced Christopher to the work of Malcolm Parkes and Ian Doyle, and is expecting young Christopher to begin work on manuscript descriptions very shortly. Watch out for his contributions!

Best wishes to Ryan, Michelle, Aime, and now Christopher from the project team. Add your congrats by commenting on this post (below).

A(nother) New Look…

Friday, July 21st, 2006

In response to user feedback and some glitches in our stylesheets, we’re currently revising the site’s page layout. The new design has already been implemented on the blog and will follow for the rest of the site next week. A print stylesheet, which will properly format MS descriptions (for example) for printing, will also follow next week.

When these revisions have been completed the site should be much easier to navigate. Thanks to those of you who commented on the previous layout…

Description Updates

Friday, July 7th, 2006

Any new exciting findings will initially be posted here on the blog before being updated in the database, so it is well worth checking in here before you investigate the Project’s main resources.  Yesterday I identified the scribe of Cambridge Corpus Christi MS. 182 as the main scribe of Harvard MS. 587 (a chap who signs himself ’Ryther Scriptor’), so these descriptions are currently under revision- this identification potentially has implications for Harvard 587’s Matheson grouping- although there are many textual and orthographic differences between the texts copied by the scribe, it is possible that the Harvard text is, like CCC MS. 182,  an EV-1419. This has been suggested to me by a comparison with the variant Henry II/ Becket heading in both texts (click the link).  The variant heading in Harvard MS. Eng. 587 occurs in the Corpus Christi MS., and I have checked another EV-1419, Princeton MS. Garret 150, where the heading also occurs.  Further checks are likely to lead to reclassification.

If you have any insights or queries regarding any updates, please reply via the blog.

Resources Now Live…

Thursday, July 6th, 2006

Visitors to the site can now view the fruits of our difficult labours: we’ve made our database of MS descriptions and project wiki “live.” While we have a bit of polishing to do, and a lot of material still to add/ amend, the project is , for all intents and purposes, now complete…

For new-comers, read about the project here
To go straight to the database, click here

We would be delighted to hear your views and comments.


Thursday, July 6th, 2006

Hello, and welcome to the Imagining History Project. A few points for those accessing the database. Although there is a considerable body of data already available, you may find that a manuscript description is presently pending or under construction. If you find that this is the case for a manuscript which interests you, check if there is a Long Description in the Project Wiki. If there is no Long Description please revisit the database, as Short Descriptions continue to be uploaded on a daily basis. You may also find that some of the promised Wiki links are not, as yet, live. Again, I would ask for your patience, they are coming!

Other features of the database soon to be added include some cultural mapping exercises. At present I am developing an exercise to map the connections of the Brut in its London contexts, in terms of both production and readerships. If this interests you keep an eye on the Project’s website for updates.

I will reiterate Stephen’s comments that the database is open not only to your scrutiny, but also to your contributions. Please make use of the Project’s features which allow you to comment on, query, or make additions to the information we have recorded. If you are interested in sharing your own observations on the Brut corpus or related matters, but have concerns about doing so, please email any of the Project members for advice.

Launching This Week

Monday, July 3rd, 2006

After several late nights and considerable technical delays, we’re finally launching our electronic outputs this week. This means that our “Resources” section should go live either today (Monday) or tomorrow. What can users expect?

There are two strands of specific interest to the scholarly community: 1) a database of manuscript descriptions and 2) a wiki providing more detailed descriptions and contextual discussion of the Prose Brut and its MSS. The wiki will also incorporate what we have termed “exercises in cultural mapping.” As we are (unfortunately) hand-coding each of our maps recording the dissemination of the Brut, these will be coming in a trickle rather than a flood, but preliminary exercises, in the form of reports, short essays and so on, will be uploaded this week.

In addition, we are also reviewing MS descriptions (some for the third time) to ensure that they’re as accurate as possible; users will find that some descriptions currently contain placeholder text only; these should be replaced this week. Indeed, where there is placeholder text, there is usually a link to the Long Description in the wiki. Click and see.

We welcome and appreciate your feedback and ask that you use the “comments” facility here in the project weblog to record your initial views and impressions. Later in the summer, with a new, AJAX front-end and a mapping engine which will allow users to produce dissemination maps of their own, we will be opening the project to collaboration from the scholarly community. At that point, you’ll be able to add, correct, contest or amend the materials we have in the database. Further, you’ll be able to contribute short entries to the wiki on any aspect of late medieval historiographical literature in Britain.

But why would you want to do that? In our view, a full understanding of the variety and complexity of medieval historiographical writing can only be acheived collaboratively. While we are all subject to the demands of scholarly publishing for career advancement, we retain the - naive? - hope that collaboration on materials in which we have shared interests provides intellectual reward. Isn’t that why scholars are scholars?

Search the Project Resources

Search Short Descriptions

Search the Project Wiki

The Imagining History project is supported by: