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New AHRC Image Gallery launched

Date: 18/06/2013

The new AHRC Image Gallery launched today it will showcase the range of digital images generated by or as outputs from research projects. The Image Gallery will highlight the rich and diverse images created and used within the arts and humanities as well as showcase the talents of those who create them.

The first of these pilot exhibitions is ‘Royal Illuminated Manuscripts’, which includes images of elaborately decorated initials, painted borders and miniature illustrations. These include some of the most extraordinary decorative paintings that survive in Britain between the 8th and 16th centuries. These manuscripts were produced for and collected by successive kings and queens and offer unique insights into the nature of kingship; moral and religious belief, learning, faith and international politics. AHRC grants have funded the digitisation and research behind the images which led to the hugely successful Royal Manuscripts: The Genius of Illumination exhibition which was held at the British Library from November 2011 to March 2012.

Speaking about the importance to research of these digitised images, Dr Kathleen Doyle, Curator of Illuminated Manuscripts at the British Library, said: Digital surrogates won't ever replace the actual object, but they serve a crucial conservation function in preserving these manuscripts for future generations. They also benefit scholars by enabling them to refine their research questions and allowing them to literally ‘zoom’ in on manuscripts to see them in more detail than ever possible before. So our goal ultimately is to make the entire collection of medieval manuscripts available online

Images are often generated and used in the arts and humanities research in a wide variety of ways and for a range of purposes – as computer-generated (CGI) or computer–enhanced images, virtual reality representations and visualisations, digitised images from museums, libraries and archives, design and architectural blueprints, photographs, cartoons, newspapers, maps and much more. The intention is that the AHRC will issue a call to the arts and humanities research community for expressions of interest to display virtual exhibitions or collections of images on the AHRC website over the summer. Small amounts of funding will be made available to the successful applicants to prepare and submit images and text for these exhibitions. Prior to that call pilot exhibitions of images will be displayed on the website with results and feedback from these informing the open call.

View the ‘Royal Illuminated Manuscripts’ Image Gallery.

Notes to Editors

  • For further information, please contact: Danielle Moore-Chick, AHRC: 01793 416021 d.moore-chick@ahrc.ac.uk
  • Further information on the Royal Manuscripts: The Genius of Illumination please visit the British Library http://www.bl.uk/royal.
  • The Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) funds world-class, independent researchers in a wide range of subjects: ancient history, modern dance, archaeology, digital content, philosophy, English literature, design, the creative and performing arts, and much more. This financial year the AHRC will spend approximately £98m to fund research and postgraduate training in collaboration with a number of partners. The quality and range of research supported by this investment of public funds not only provides social and cultural benefits but also contributes to the economic success of the UK. For further information on the AHRC, please go to the AHRC Website.


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