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Report 2003-08-22

Present: Willard McCarty, Andrew Wareham, Alan Piper, David Rollason

Test screens for dvd/web to portray information (Document A)

The sketch of a possible structure for biographical entries in the electronic edition (based on the example of John Appleby on fol. 73r) was considered and approved. It was noted that it represented a development, based on data supplied by Lynda Rollason, on the preliminary sketch presented to the July meeting of Management Committee. Harold Short noted that the software currently being used for the Shikshapatri project would make such a structure possible.

It was accepted that not all entries would need the degree of elaboration required in this case. In particular, Alan Piper emphasised, the entries for monks did not pose the same problems of uncertainty of identification and could be considerably simplified. There would, however, be the further challenge of cases where, although identification was not problematic, assigning pieces of evidence to one of two persons was.


  1. Lynda Rollason to be asked to send her database to Harold Short.
  2. David Rollason to work on developing the philology screens in consultation with John Insley.
  3. David Rollason and Alan Piper to work on developing the palaeography screens.

Methodology for identifying groupings and names (Document B)

Andrew Wareham presented pilot work he had done on the connections of Hugh Bigod in the Liber Vitae of Thorney, and the group noted the level of progress and sophistication which had been achieved. It noted also the measures Andrew had introduced to indicate different interpretative lines of reasoning, and the levels of certainty which could be assigned to them. It was agreed that, although such discussions could be represented in structured form, it might be better at first to handle them as continuous prose in the way which Andrew had done and to integrate them as suggested in Document A. When it was clearer how many such elaborate discussions would be needed, the database design might be re-examined to see whether specific provision needed to be made.

Review of schedule for palaeographical work

Alan Piper reported that he and Michael Gullick had agreed to proceed independently with the palaeographical mark-up of the print-outs from the CDs, and then to compare notes. Alan would also be integrating Lynda Rollason’s mark-up notes provided by Ian Doyle. It was hoped to have the palaeographical mark-up completed later in the Autumn.


  1. As above.
  2. Harold Short to investigate converting the images of the manuscript into low-resolution jpegs for general use.

Plan for transcript production

It was agreed that a timetable now needed to be drawn up for producing a transcript of the whole manuscript, and that the deadline for this should be 31 January 2004. David and Alan would collaborate with Andrew in producing this, and in sharing out the tasks of transcribing and checking. It was noted that David Dumville’s transcript was already available in electronic form as was Alan’s of the names of monks. There was discussion as to whether the transcript should be a diplomatic one, recording exactly what was on the page.


  1. Andrew to draft a timetable and allocation of work for consideration by Alan and David in the light of their availability. The aim should be to cover fols. 45-73 initially.
  2. Harold and Andrew to produce a transcript of a sample page for discussion of how expansions etc. should be handled in the context of the electronic edition.

Review of electronic programmes for mark-up and progress of website (Document C)

Mark-up of the sample pages of transcript produced by Andrew and Gabby Bodard was considered in some detail, and it was noted that there were decisions to be made about how much could be represented in the mark-up itself and how much in the database which lay behind it. The following points were noted:

  1. It was very difficult to distinguish capitals in some scripts, and it would be best to capitalise all names.
  2. The handling of continuous text would need some further thought.
  3. The issue of how to handle place-names and place-names as surnames had still to be considered.


David Rollason reported that the project had been represented at the following:

  1. A day workshop organised by Katharine Keats-Rohan at the Oxford Computing Service on 30 June 2003. He, Andrew and Gabby Bodard had made a joint presentation of the project.
  2. A meeting of AMARC at Durham on 7 July 2003, at which David Rollason had made a presentation of the project.

It was reported that Dorothy Carr Porter (Collaboratory for Research in Computing in the Humanities, Kentucky) had invited David Rollason to present the project at Kalamazoo in May 2004. The meeting was not certain whether this would be cost-effective at this stage. It was noted that costs would have to be met from other sources, for example the British Academy.


Andrew to consider a possible sequence of six papers (two sessions) at the International Medieval Congress at Leeds in July 2004, and to circulate suggestions to the team.

Meetings of advisory group and philologists

It was agreed that both meetings would be best in spring 2004. David Rollason reported that Paul Russell (Radley College, Celtic philology) and Peter McClure (Middle English names) had agreed to participate.


David Rollason to convene these meetings with Helen Gray.

Review of Project Plan

Satisfactory progress was noted across all areas of the tabular project plan, which was amended to show this.


Harold and Andrew to work on the text and design for a leaflet publicising the project.

Financial position

Interim accounts for non-staff expenditure were received and approved by Harold Short and Alan Piper. It was agreed that the present arrangements were working well, and that David Rollason should circulate for approval advance financial projections for activities involving expenditure over approximately £500.




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