Future Research

Revealing the "Invisible" Roll

In January 2017, Professor Haida Liang (Nottingham Trent University Imaging & Sensing for Archaeology, Art history & Conservation Mobile Lab) is visiting Christchurch to carry out precision imaging of the Roll.

Spectral imaging, an X-ray Fluorescence Spectrometer (XRF), and a high sensitivity and high spectral resolution spectrometer will be used to carry out pigment identification and identification of any faded or "hidden" writing or drawings.

Spectral imaging and reflectance spectroscopy provide information about compounds used; XRF gives complementary information about the chemical elements. Professor Liang and her team will utilize expertise developed in analysing medieval manuscripts from the Bodleian Library and the Fitzwilliam Museum.

The visit of the NTU ISAAC Mobile Lab to UC is generously funded by a $5000 grant from the UC Marsden Support Fund.

The Canterbury Roll Project - Stage 2

Stage 2 of the Canterbury Roll Project is expected to be released in 2019. It involves linking a database to the existing transcription/translation. The database will allow users to click on any individual who appears in the Latin or English text and view a detailed entry on that person with accompanying bibliography.

Stage 2 commenced in November 2016. The database was developed via the PACE internship programme in conjunction with the UC Arts Digital Lab and DIGI403. It is being compiled via a collaboration between UC History, the PACE internship programme, and Nottingham Trent University (UK).

Future stages in the project are intended to facilitate the digital reconstruction of the various scribal “layers” that compose the Roll and to enable more detailed exploration of the relationship between the text and its sources.

Project Timeline



Major outcome



Information website with basic photographic facsimile of Roll



Release of TEI edition with high quality images, transcription, and translation. Accompanied by textual notes & indications of where the new version departs from the Wall editionĀ 



Release of tablet/mobile-accessible version



Integration of a comprehensive database of all individuals who appear on the Roll



A digitally “layered” version of the manuscript, intended to reveal the work of each scribe



An expanded set of notes including commentary and indications of the original sources used on a line-by-line basis



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