The project aimed to develop new ways of engaging a local community with a very significant survival of medieval manuscript culture. This was achieved primarily through the provision of a digital version of its principal elements, enhanced by interpretation and contextual information.
The sumptuous Wollaton Antiphonal is a 15th century liturgical volume with a recorded history associating it with a particular parish (Wollaton, Notts.) since 1460. After its deposit at the University of Nottingham in 1974 scholarly access was limited, because of its very fragile physical condition. A lengthy conservation programme was launched in 2011 and completed in 2012. This enabled inclusion of the Antiphonal in a research project also funded by the AHRC, which resulted in the publication The Wollaton Medieval Manuscripts. Texts, Owners and Readers, edited byR Hanna and T Turville-Petre (2010). A need was identified, to create a resource that could both permanently display elements of the manuscript and enable use by a general lay audience, particularly within the local community.
The project is now complete. A Virtual Antiphonal has been created using Turning the Pages™ software. It is available on a kiosk within St Leonard’s Church Wollaton and can also be accessed online from the University website. Each opening has commentaries and images covering liturgy, decoration, heraldry, music, and physical preservation. Audio delivery includes the option of relevant musical performance; selected folios offer podcast extracts of chants, performed by the church choir. A leaflet assists interpretation and publicity.
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