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July 3rd, 2006

Launching This Week

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?

May 22nd, 2006

Project Launch

Well, it may have been a long time in the coming, but the Imagining History project is finally getting ready to launch its electronic research outputs. Along the way, time and staffing constraints have meant that we’ve had to downsize some of our ambitions, but we remain relatively pleased with the outcome.

The project now has three electronic strands: the first is this blog, a platform for scholarly discussion and collaboration which will continue after we announce ‘completion’ of the project; the second is a database of manuscript descriptions; the third is a ‘wiki’ which contextualises the descriptions and extends discussion of speciic case-studies. What we originally termed our ‘exercises in cultural mapping’ are spread across the database and the wiki and where we have been able, we have mapped the dissemination and reception of the Prose Brut according to the ‘tube-map’ scheme we introduced at various contexts in 2004 and 2005.

We are still testing aspects of the website and database, and fine-tuning the search facilities. We hope to launch in the next couple of weeks…

April 5th, 2006

Welcome to the Project blog

Welcome! The ‘Imagining History’ project blog is one strand in an experiment in scholarly collaboration. The other strands - a database of descriptions of manuscripts of the Middle English Prose Brut, and a wiki detailing the outcomes of three years of AHRC-funded research - will be opened in the coming weeks and months to encourage scholars and students of late medieval historiography to consider this site an online portal for studies of the medieval historical imagination.

In the meantime, tell us what you think (be polite, please), explore and most importantly - collaborate!


The 'Imagining History' project is the first large-scale collaborative investigation of the manuscripts of the Middle English Prose Brut chronicle, arguably the most prolificly disemminated secular text of the English Middle Ages. The project explores the cultural capital of the Prose Brut within...


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