France and England: medieval manuscripts between 700 and 1200

Thanks to an exceptional patronage of The Polonsky Foundation, whose aim is to foster access to cultural heritage for the greatest number, the Bibliothèque nationale de France and the British Library have developed an unprecedented partnership in the field of medieval manuscripts. The Polonsky Foundation England and France Project: Manuscripts from the British Library and the Bibliothèque nationale de France, 700-1200 concerns 800 manuscripts, half of them held by the BnF, and the other half by the British Library. They have been selected with regard to their importance for the history of French-English relations in the Middle Ages, as well as for their artistic, historical or literary value. Written between the 8th and the end of the 12th century, they encompass very diverse fields that are representative of the intellectual production of the Early Middle Ages and the Romanesque era. 

The international conference to be held in Paris from the 21st to the 23rd November will mark the launch of the two websites especially conceived for the project. The digital library « Gallica marque blanche » (BnF) will bring together all manuscripts of the corpus and enable their comparison via the IIIF protocol. The BL pedagogical website will allow exploring in depth a selection of manuscripts. The international conference in Paris will be open to a large audience. Researchers and specialists will cast a new light upon the rich heritage made available through the support of the Polonsky Foundation, and upon the French-English relations in the Middle Ages, from an historical, a literary and an artistic point of view.

The first day will be dedicated to aspects of project managing, and will consist in a dialogue between the stakeholders of the project. They will present the achievements and the lessons of this first partnership between both institutions in the medieval domain. A special focus will be put on the opportunities generated by the development of digital humanities and by image interoperability, which deeply transform research practices, on the way manuscripts are perceived and on the new issues that ensue from it. The following day will be devoted to the manuscripts, their illumination, their texts and their circulation. These research topics will gather specialists from various domains, in an interdisciplinary perspective.

Scientific organisation: Charlotte Denoël and Francesco Siri.





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