A New Phase for DigiPal: The Models of Authority Project

UPDATE (15th July 2015): We are delighted to announce that the Models of Authority site is now up and running. 

I am very pleased to announce a new AHRC-funded project which (among other things) will result in some important extensions to the DigiPal framework. 'Models of Authority' is a study of Scottish charters and the emergence of government for the period 1100–1250, to run from 1 April 2014 to 31 July 2017. Quoting from the proposal summary:

This project is about government and the way it emerged and developed in the middle ages. Government as we would think of it today can first be recognised in western Europe during the twelfth century. But was it the natural result of increasing royal power and authority; or was it a response of kings to disorder? Understanding the emergence of medieval government has to be based on understanding the main source of evidence - charters - and it is in the twelfth century that charters begin to survive in large numbers. This project's new approach is to focus on understanding and interpreting the most distinctive features of charters - the appearance of their handwriting and the formulaic aspects of their prose. 

The Principal Investigator is Prof. Dauvit Broun from the University of Glasgow; Co-Investigators are Drs Alice Taylor and DigiPal's Peter Stokes, both from King's College London, and Dr Tessa Webber from the University of Cambridge; researchers are Dr John Davies from Glasgow, and Dr Stewart Brookes and Geoffroy Noël from the DigiPal project at King's College London; the research student is Joanna Tucker from Glasgow. 

The DigiPal part of the project will not start until the existing grant ends on 30 September 2014, but we will be implementing two significant new developments in the framework, both of which people have been requesting for a long time. The first is the incorporation of full transcripts, meaning that we will be able to link images and annotations to TEI-encoded texts. The second is a formal model for the representation of cursive script, removing the restriction to set script that DigiPal currently supports.
I’m very happy to be working with this group, and particularly for the chance to add significantly to DigiPal, extending its development for a few more years yet. The cursive script will be a particularly interesting challenge, and I very much look forward to seeing where it all goes.


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