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Medieval Academy of America awards DigiPal project

A King’s College London project that digitised thousands of medieval handwriting samples has been awarded the Medieval Academy of America's inaugural Digital Humanities Prize.

The DigiPal project ( offers the public and scholars access to medieval records and manuscripts, with a focus on those produced in England during the years 1000–1100, the time of Æthelred, Cnut and William the Conqueror. The project was recognised by the MAA for its scholarly value, adherence to digital best-practices and long-term viability.

The project, which ran from 2010 to 2014, was led by academics from King’s Department of Digital Humanities - Dr Peter Stokes (PI), Dr Stewart Brookes and Geoffroy Noël. It was designed to allow users to see samples of handwriting from the period and to compare them with each other quickly and easily.

Prestigious prize

The MAA is the largest professional organisation in the world for medieval studies, and the DigiPal project was chosen from more than 20 submissions to win the prize. The prize will be awarded during the Academy's Annual Meeting at the University of Toronto in April.

Peter Stokes said: “We are very happy and honoured to have received this award from the Medieval Academy of America. This prize is an important initiative as it recognises the significance of Digital Humanities in the field and helps to set a benchmark for evaluating the quality and rigour of these methods and their results. 

“I’m very grateful to all the many people who contributed to this, particularly the project team and also the European Research Council who funded us through a Starting Grant.

“The project finished in 2014 but we have since received two major AHRC grants to develop it further: Models of Authority and Conqueror’s Commissioners/Exon Domesday. The software we developed is also being used in a Marie Curie ITN, as well as by several PhD students at King’s and a group at the Bibliothèque nationale de France, among others.

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