York awarded fund for digitisation

The University of York has been awarded a $299,000 grant by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to digitise historic materials

The grant will support the first year of a project to digitise the Registers of the Archbishops of York spanning four centuries. It will enable Registers of 21 Archbishops, covering the period from 1225 to 1646, to be made available online for the first time. With over 20,000 pages to be added to the University of York’s Digital Library (YODL), the project will create one of the largest online facilities of its type.

The York series contain records of activity across the whole of the North of England, providing a unique insight into ecclesiastical, political and cultural history over a period that witnessed the dislocations of the Black Death, the Wars of the Roses, the Reformation and the English Civil War.

The Registers, held at the University’s Borthwick Institute for Archives, contain millions of references to people and places, covering a vast range of topics: from architecture, almsgiving, sin, buildings and transport, to church furnishings and weapons and war.

Professor Mark Ormrod, the University’s Academic Co-ordinator for Arts and Humanities, said: “The Registers are a vital source for understanding the historic role of the Church in the political, social, confessional and cultural life of the UK. They provide rare testimony on questions of continuity and change between the medieval and the early modern periods, and will be an invaluable online tool for scholars and the wider public to conduct historical research.”

The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation grant will support the first phase of digitisation from October 2014 to December 2015. The Institute will seek additional funding over the next five years to index the Registers and promote research of this unique material.

Image credit: Borthwick Institute for Archives 

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