Medieval England and France, 700-1200

A collaboration between the British Library and the Bibliothèque nationale de France to digitise 800 illuminated Medieval manuscripts.

Project details

This two-year project, drawing upon the collections of the Bibliothèque nationale de France and the British Library, has made 800 manuscripts from the period 700-1200 available online in full for the first time, along with a bilingual curated website, enabling learners and researchers around the world to explore the rich written and artistic legacy of medieval England and France as never before.

The fully digitised manuscripts can be viewed using the International Image Interoperability Framework (IIIF) standard to enable users to browse, magnify, annotate and compare manuscripts side by side in a virtual study environment. There is also an extensive curated website, aimed at a wide public audience, that showcases a selection of the manuscripts, and includes thematic articles and video clips on topics ranging from early medieval medical knowledge to the techniques of creating illuminated manuscripts.

The 800 manuscripts were produced on either side of the English Channel over half a millennium of close cultural and political interaction, and were selected for their historical importance and artistic merit. Their pages bear witness to the richness and sophistication of the cultural exchanges between England and France from the beginning of the 8th century to the close of the 12th century. The project continues the centuries-long cultural exchange of these two nations and demonstrates their profound mutual influence.

Links & downloads:
https://manuscrits-france-angleterre.org/polonsky/en/content/accueil-en
https://www.bl.uk/medieval-english-french-manuscripts
VIDEO: France & Angleterre, manuscrits médiévaux entre 700 et 1200

Subject area: Cultural heritage and digitisation

Subject areas

Cultural heritage and digitisation

We support major libraries and museums in digitising and displaying the riches of their collections, to make them available to researchers and the wider public in innovative and attractive ways.

Humanities education and research

We support research in the humanities at significant academic institutions, educational initiatives to inspire young people about the humanities, and the broadening of educational opportunity.

Excellence and innovation in the arts

We support artistic heritage, the development of new creative work and the nurturing of young performers.