Friday, 11 July 2014

Great Parchment Book Day event in London

From the Great Parchment Book blog (, details of a Great Parchment Book Day conference event at London Metropolitan Archives to be held on Friday 25th July 2014.

The Great Parchment Book of the Honourable The Irish Society was a major survey compiled in 1639 by Charles I of the planted estates in Derry managed by the City of London's trade guilds and the Irish Society. It recently underwent a massive conservation challenge, the book being heavily damaged by fire many years ago, with a great deal of useful information retrieved for the use of historian and family historian alike.

The conference will have two main sessions, the morning focussing on the Great Parchment Book story itself, with the afternoon a technological session on handling historical documents through innovative technologies. The event is fully booked, but there is a waiting list for any potential cancellations.

The following is the programme:


10.00am Registration, coffee and housekeeping

10.15am Welcome (Deputy Catherine McGuinness)

10.20am Introduction to LMA, collections overview, where the Great Parchment Book sits within those collections, why it became the focus for the project and why it mattered (Philippa Smith)

11.00am TEA/COFFEE

11.15pm Accessing History through Innovative Technologies:
The Great Parchment Book Project Story
Conservation (Dr Caroline De Stefani)
Transcription/textual encoding (Dr Patricia Stewart)
Digital flattening (Kazim Pal)



14.00pm Welcome and introduction – impact, outcomes and wider context (Dr Tim Weyrich)

14.30pm Display of damaged original materials including Great Parchment Book and LMA Rogues Gallery; demonstration of digital flattening software; opportunity to discuss further possible applications of flattening software and other techniques being researched on LMA material; demonstration of textual encoding (Dr Caroline De Stefani, Marie Poirot, Dr Tim Weyrich, Kazim Pal, Dr Helen Graham-Matheson, Dr Patricia Stewart)

15.15pm TEA/COFFEE

15.30pm HISTORY FUTURES PANEL (Professor Melissa Terras - UCL, Chair, Dr Tim Weyrich – UCL, Emma Stewart – LMA, David Howell – Bodleian Library)

How new technologies can and may impact on challenging materials, access and availability, preservation issues – how can we take projects forward? HLF partner bid proposal, Q&A and expressions of interest

16.30pm CLOSE

(With thanks to the Great Parchment Book blog)


Now available for UK research is the new second edition of the best selling Tracing Your Family History on the Internet: A Guide for Family Historians, whilst my new book British and Irish Newspapers is also now out. And FindmyPast - please reinstate the original Scottish census citations on your new site.

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