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EM and Beyond

In our team paper at the Project's final Symposium in April 2010, we presented our stocktaking of the Project's work and some thoughts on the ways in which what the Project has produced can be used as a platform for future research by ourselves and others. The full text of our Symposium paper can be found here. We noted that all of our cataloguing data, and the code in which it was created, are freely available for others to work with. We also reported on how our initial key research questions have been nuanced by the work we've done, and on how that work has opened up the possibility of asking additional questions and of shaping new research projects which will speak to our data and findings. Particularly valuable future projects would include a parallel exploration of manuscripts written in England in Latin and French during the same time-span; transcriptions of key texts which exist in multiple copies; further detailed codicological work on individual manuscripts, in the style of our case-studies; and analysis of the evidence for the continuing writing of English from 1220 until the fourteenth century.

In our final conference session at the International Medieval Congress in Leeds in July 2010, we delivered two team papers on our thoughts at the end of the Project. Professor Andrew Prescott of the University of Glasgow, a member of our Advisory Board, gave a response paper. Professor Prescott's paper, whose full text can be found here, discusses the role of the Project and its impact in two respects. First, he considers its contribution to 'the reinterpretation of one of the grand narratives of medieval studies in the British Isles', and the 'paradigm-shifting' result of its 'fundamental challenges to some of the foundation myths of the English nation'. Second, he shows how the Project highlights the need to develop manuscript studies so that different projects, and their respective manuscript catalogues, can be interrogated together by researchers.

Our Advisory Board members and participants at our two Symposia and numerous other conference sessions, and the many colleagues who have advised us and contributed to our manuscript descriptions have been an invaluable resource for the Project. From the very start, we've been able to incorporate their ideas with ours, and to develop our work in conversation with many specialists in our topic and related fields, from new research students to senior scholars. This has greatly enhanced the currency of the questions we've posed and the rigour of the methodologies we've adopted to address them.