Online Froissart

Project History

AHRC-funded project

In the summer of 2007 the Arts and Humanities Research Council’s “Resource Enhancement” programme awarded a grant to the Universities of Sheffield and Liverpool for the Online Froissart project. The project started in October 2007 with two complementary teams based at Sheffield and Liverpool. The Online Froissart was launched on 31 March 2010 at the end of more than two years’ intensive work.

Earlier funded work

Peter Ainsworth and Godfried Croenen’s first collaborative project on Jean Froissart’s Chroniques was funded between 1997 and 2002 by a project grant from the British Academy and the then Arts and Humanities Research Board (later Council).

Research towards tome 1 of Peter Ainsworth’s edition of Book III for Droz (2007) was supported by a Leverhulme Research Fellowship (2005-2006); a publication grant was awarded by the Scouloudi Foundation. An award from the Higher Education Innovation Fund underpinned research on “Digital Tools for the Medievalist: Research and Development and Dissemination” (2005). A grant from the AHRC/EPSRC/JISC/UK e-Science initiative funded Peter Ainsworth’s work with Mike Meredith on the Virtual Vellum project (2006).

Godfried Croenen’s work on Froissart’s biography was funded in 2000 with a small research grant from the University of Liverpool. His work on the manuscript tradition of Froissart’s Chroniques was supported with small grants from the Neil Ker Memorial Fund (2001), the University of Liverpool (2004) and the British Academy (2005), as well as through a period of funded research leave from the Arts and Humanities Research Council (2006). He was also awarded a Visiting Fellowship by the Mellon Foundation/Harry Ransom Center (2001) and a Visiting Scholarship by St John’s College Oxford (2006), which allowed him to work intensively on the Austin and Oxford manuscripts of the Chroniques.

Humanities computing

Rob Sanderson was awarded a University of Liverpool PhD studentship in French in 1997 to work on Froissart’s Chroniques. He was the first member of the research team to explore the possibilities of using SGML/XML and internet technologies to deliver a holistic and dynamic approach to the manuscripts of Froissart’s Chroniques. The project team extended this work and adopted some of the XML markup principles first applied by Rob Sanderson to the corpus of manuscripts.

Sundry e-Science elements of the Online Froissart including the Virtual Vellum manuscript viewer and Digging into Image Data projects arise from Michael Meredith’s postdoctoral work with Peter Ainsworth within this field between 2005 and 2010.

The Humanities Research Institute (HRI) at the University of Sheffield is a leading provider of research and development services for the digital Arts and Humanities. With over 16 years of experience, its mission is to support the innovative use of technology within Arts and Humanities research, as both a method of inquiry and a means of dissemination. The HRI joined the Online Froissart project as a partner in 2007 to deliver and host the website.

Digital facsimiles

The digital photography of the Stonyhurst and Toulouse manuscripts was supported by a Leverhulme Research Fellowship (Peter Ainsworth, 2005-2006). Peter Ainsworth also secured grants from Yorkshire Universities Gift Aid (2006) and the Worldwide Universities Network (2007 and 2008) to support digitisation of manuscripts at the Bibliothèque Royale, Brussels, and the Bibliothèque nationale de France, Paris. In 2010 the Harry Ransom Research Center at Austin, Texas, and the Bibliothèque Royale Albert 1er, Brussels, kindly gave their permission to the project to display their digital images (respectively ms. 48, and mss II 88 and IV 251) alongside those from Besançon, Stonyhurst and Toulouse. In 2011 the Bibliothèque nationale de France kindly gave their permission to the project to display their digital images (fonds français ms. 2663 and ms. 2664) via both Gallica and the Online Froissart’s manuscript viewers, and the Royal Library in The Hague kindly gave their permission to the project to display their digitised images (ms. 72 A 5). In 2013 the Plantin-Moretus Museum in Antwerp kindly gave their permission to the project to display their digital images (ms. 15.4, 5 and 6).

Doctoral research

The research on Jean Froissart’s chronicles on which the Online Froissart builds has been significantly advanced by the achievements of a number of Sheffield and Liverpool PhD students, several of whom - as part of their theses - produced transcriptions presently included in the resource.

Rob Sanderson was awarded his PhD by the University of Liverpool in 2003 for his thesis “Linking Past and Future: An Application of Dynamic HTML for Medieval Manuscript Editions”.

Katariina Närä was awarded her PhD by the University of Sheffield in 2007 for her thesis “A Study and Partial Edition of Froissart’s Chronicles Book IV, Based on BL MS Harley 4379-4380”.

Valentina Mazzei was awarded her PhD by the University of Sheffield in 2008 for her thesis “An Edition and Study of Besançon Municipal Library Ms. 864 (Jean Froissart’s Chroniques, Book I, ‘A’ redaction)”.

Dirk Schoenaers was awarded his PhD by the University of Liverpool in 2009 for his thesis “Getranslateerd uuten Franssoyse: Translation from the French into Dutch in Holland in the 15th Century. The Case of Gerijt Potter’s Middle Dutch translation of Froissart’s Chroniques”.