I’ve recently finished developing the Manuscript Pamphleteering in Early Stuart England online database. This project was a collaboration between the University of Bristol, University of Birmingham, British Library and the Historical Association and funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council.
What is a manuscript pamphlet? According to Noah Millstone, the project’s principal investigator, it ‘is a handwritten text, usually from a particular set of genres – speeches, letters, petitions, briefs, treatises, dialogues – that circulated through the particular matrix of scribal practices that prevailed in early Stuart England’.
The requirements for the database included:
- Store information about the pamphlets and manuscripts
- Display a transcript of the text
- High quality images of the original to appear with the transcript
- Allow the information to be downloaded in a PDF
- Support simple search
- Texts to be easily added and updated by the researchers
The data created by the project covers:
- 50 archives (UK and USA)
- 500 distinct texts
- 4,000 unique witnesses
- 200 exemplars
- 2011 XML documents
I’ll plan to add some more posts about the project and the technologies used in the near future.