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Unopened Manuscripts: Making the Unreadable Readable (5)

Wednesday 4 March 2020
12:00 (noon) - 13:00
Johan Huizinga
Doelensteeg 16
2311 VL Leiden
Conference Room 2.60

Unopened Manuscripts: Making the Unreadable Readable

The National Archives in Kew, the UK, is home to a series of unopened early modern manuscripts catalogued as “WARD 16”. These manuscripts relate to the Court of Wards and Liveries, a London-based court of law that was of vital importance in early modern England. We know relatively little about this institution, however, because most of its records have not withstood the test of time. “WARD 16” could help to fill this void, but to open the manuscripts would mean disrupting their materiality.

In this lecture, Dr Fikkers will discuss the area of tension between getting access to the contents of locked manuscripts and preserving their materiality. She will also present the preliminary results of the attempts to digitize the “WARD 16” records without disruption. By combining X-ray tomography (a technique developed at the Dentistry Department at Queen Mary University of London) and computational unfolding, it is possible to make the unreadable readable. 

All welcome to join us at the 5th LUCDH lunchtime lecture of the 2019-2020 session. Please email lucdh@hum.leidenuniv.nl to let us know you would like to attend so we have sufficient chairs. 

Lotte Fikkers - Unopened Manuscripts
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