A New Phase for DigiPal II: The Conqueror's Commissioners Project

I am very pleased to announce a second AHRC-funded project which will also build on the DigiPal framework. In addition to the 'Models of Authority' announced in an earlier post, the 'Exon Domesday, Conqueror's Commisioners'  will begin on 1 October 2014, immediately after DigiPal itself finishes, and will continue until 30 September 2017. It constitutes a detailed study of the Exon Domesday Book, including its palaeography and codicology, and will result in extensions to the DigiPal framework which include more detailed modelling and visualisation particularly for codicology, distributions of palaeographical features throughout a single manuscript, and geographical content in the book. Quoting from the project press release,

One of the most precious treasures of Exeter Cathedral Library is at last to receive the attention it deserves thanks to a major research project hosted by King’s College London and the Friends of Exeter Cathedral and funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council. Few local residents know that Exeter houses the earliest manuscript of William the Conqueror’s Domesday survey. Exon Domesday, written in the South West nearly 1000 years ago, and housed at Exeter for most or all of its lifetime, is the most complete and extensive record of the data collected by commissioners working across England at the end of the Conqueror’s reign. It records data for Devon, Cornwall, Dorset, Somerset and Wiltshire before the process of editing and simplification which produced Great Domesday Book, the version of Domesday Book known to all and preserved at the National Archives at Kew. Exon Domesday provides unique information about the landscape and population of these counties in the generation before and after the Norman conquest of 1066. Researchers also hope that Exon Domesday will contain the key to understanding the Domesday survey itself, one of the most remarkable demonstrations of the effectiveness of royal government in the Middle Ages.

The project will be lead by Prof. Julia Crick in the Department of History at King's College London; Co-Investigators are Dr Stephen Baxter (St Peter's College Oxford) and me (Peter Stokes, Dept. of Digital Humanities at King's). Researchers include Geoffroy Noël (from the DigiPal project) and Chris Lewis, both also from King's. There will be two PhD studentships and one Research Associate position as part of this project, so look out for further announcements about these shortly.


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