Thanks to the digitisation of an ancient manuscript predating the Magna Carta by almost 100 years, one of the oldest laws in England can now be viewed online.
The entire medieval manuscript, Textus Roffensis, was scanned and put online by scientists at the University of Manchester. It contains 476 pages and 484 images in total. Dr Chris Monks of the University of Manchester believes the manuscript is “truly…unique” and the reaction to the new accessibility of the digital version seems to be largely positive.
Janet Wilkinson, librarian at the university said “The University of Manchester Library has long recognised the need to preserve its digital material, as well as print, for future generations…I am reassured that this significant piece of history will now survive for future research purposes.”
The original manuscript was suffering some water damage having been thrown into a river around the early 1700s so it seems a very good solution to have the pages digitised to future proof it for many more years. With the digitised copy, there will no longer be a worry that if the manuscript is damaged beyond repair, the information and history it contains will be lost forever.
This news has reinforced the need to scan important documents and information to digital format to increase their accessibility for people who may not be able to get to the hard copy and also to safeguard the information for the future.
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