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Archive for July, 2006


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?

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