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Researchers to Examine and Digitise 15th-Century English Genealogical Roll

16 Nov 2022 1:41 PM | Anonymous

From an article in the web site:

Work has begun on examining and analysing a genealogical roll from the 15th century which has not been seen publicly for over 20 years.

A team of historians and heritage science researchers at Nottingham Trent University (NTU) will be using cutting-edge scientific imaging in a rare and precious genealogical roll that was made in England between 1447 and 1455. The new spectral imaging method developed by NTU for scanning manuscript rolls will produce not only high-resolution colour images given by traditional digitisation but also material and ‘hidden’ information.

The roll – MS 501 which is located at Burlington House with the London Society of Antiquaries – is almost 50ft long and is considered to be one of the finest late-medieval chronicles in the world. Because of its unusual size and length, the roll cannot currently be accessed and presents unique challenges when it comes to digitisation.  It contains a series of beautiful images thought to have been created by William Abell, a well-known fifteenth-century manuscript illuminator based in London. When, in 2021, The London Society of Antiquaries started a campaign to raise the profile of the society led by historian Michael Wood, they chose this roll as a key example in their collection, and sourced charitable donations to carry out its digitisation.

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