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     Computing for Humanities
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Carolingian Canon Law Project

Project Director
Dr. Abigail Firey
Professor of History
University of Kentucky

Project Home:  http://ccl.rch.uky.edu/

Project Description

The Carolingian Canon Law project is producing a searchable, electronic rendition of major works of Carolingian canon law, in a presentation that shows their relation to other works of canon law used by Carolingian jurists.

The CCL initiates digital presentation that matches the dynamic nature of the material, which varies in each manuscript. The dynamic interface supplies extraordinary capacities for manipulation of the data by users. This reflects the now widespread recognition that it is important to understand the changes in "living texts" in different moments and places of reception, a need which is not served well in traditional "critical" editions. This project maps the extent of variation in "standard" legal texts known to Carolingian jurists, and identifies particular points of variation. In addition to clarifying the textual history of medieval canon law, the project will provide historical and bibliographic annotation of several hundred canons used by jurists before, during, and after the Carolingian period. It will establish basic "industry standards" for encoding transcriptions of medieval legal manuscripts, standards that can be sensibly adapted for other manuscript transcriptions. Using these protocols, it will be possible for the first time to search across a large number of transcriptions, despite the frequent variations in spelling, word order, and phrasing, and to collate selected transcriptions. Presentation in a digital environment allows users to investigate efficiently particular statutes, specific principles or concepts, and the transmission of individual canons in a large corpus.

The Carolingian Canon Law Project is an intensively collaborative endeavor. It invites all scholars of medieval canon law to contribute transcriptions of manuscripts (or portions of manuscripts), so that the database expands and becomes ever more useful to all of us. All transcriptions are published with full credit publicly given to the transcriber. The project also welcomes translations of individual canons or groups of canons that have been published on the CCL website. The CCL publishes bibliography on individual canons and also welcomes descriptive articles of Carolingian canon law materials. To discuss particular manuscripts, transcriptions, translations, commentary, or bibliographic items, users may post their comments in the pertinent areas of the CCL portal, providing an open forum for discussion of the materials posted on the site.

The CCL's core of collaborators has scholars from the U.S.A., Germany, England, and Canada, and registered users already hail from Russia, England, France, Canada, and the U.S.A.


Recent research on the CCL project has been supported by:

ACLS Logo NEH Logo Andrew W. Mellon Foundation UK Research Logo Digital Library Services Logo UK AS Logo UK Grad School Logo