The British Library, the Bibliothèque nationale de France and The Polonsky Foundation have teamed up to create two websites that will provide digital access to 800 medieval manuscripts. The websites will be launched next month.
It is part of ‘The Polonsky Foundation England and France Project,’ which began in 2016. The British Library and the Bibliothèque nationale de France are providing 400 manuscripts each from their collections, which were selected for their importance in relation to the history of French-English relationships in the Middle Ages. Produced between the 8th and the late 12th centuries, they cover a broad spectrum representing intellectual output during the early Middle Ages and the Romanesque era. Among them are a number of precious, lavishly illuminated examples, such as the Winchester Benedictional from around the year 1000, the Chartres Bible circa 1140 and the Canterbury Psalter made at the end of twelfth-century.
Laurence Engel, President of the Bibliothèque nationale de France, commented that “Two outstanding medieval collections have been brought together through this ambitious project funded by The Polonsky Foundation, the fruit of a commitment shared by the Bibliothèque nationale de France and the British Library to harness our scientific and technological expertise in placing invaluable treasures within everyone’s reach. This is an example of common heritage that we are sharing together.”