The Digital Resource and Database for Palaeography, Manuscript Studies and Diplomatic (DigiPal) is a new resource being developed at the Department of Digital Humanities at Kings College London. Funded by the European Research Council (ERC), as part of the European Commission's FP7 programme, the project aims to bring new methods in Digital Humanities to the study of medieval handwriting in its diplomatic and manuscript context by combining digital catalogues, descriptions of handwriting, and images of documents and their constituent letter-forms. It will finish at the end of September 2014.

The project aims to bring digital technology to bear on scholarly discussion in new and innovative ways. It combines digital photographs of medieval handwriting with detailed descriptions and characterisations of the writing, as well as the text in which it is found, and the content and structure of the manuscript or document as a whole. It incorporate differents ways of exploring and manipulating the information, such as annotated images, as well as more conventional text-based browse and search; before the project's end in 2014 it will also include dynamic maps, timelines and image-processing. It therefore allows scholars to apply new developments in palaeographical method which have been discussed in theory but which have proven difficult or impossible to implement in practice.

To achieve these goals, the project comprises three main parts:

  • The generalised web framework for the delivery of palaeographical content online.
  • The database of content specific to English Vernacular minuscule of the eleventh century.
  • A series of print publications which put this content into practice for our understanding of English Vernacular minuscule in particular and palaeographical method in general.

For more details on these see the page of project outcomes, as well as the  rationale and somescreenshots of the prototype systems which are currently under development. The full project team and Advisory Committee is listed here, a selection of news on the project and related activity can be found under News, and discussions of particular topics or research questions on the project are given on theBlog. Please feel free to add your own comments and feedback directly on the Blog pages, or to submit possible news items for posting by e-mailing the team at digipal [at] kcl.ac.uk. You can also follow us on Twitter @digipalproject