Go to navigation

Medway makes national history

Date: 10/01/2008           Category: Arts and Libraries

History fans will be able to view images of an important historic document from Medway’s archives on the British Library's web site from 21 January. The move follows Medway Archives and Local Studies Centre (MALSC) and Rochester Cathedral jointly winning the British Library’s prestigious Hidden Treasures competition last September. The prize was to include their famous medieval manuscript book the Textus Roffensis on the British Library's website at www.bl.uk/onlinegallery/ttp/ttpbooks.html Textus Roffensis is part of the Rochester Cathedral archives, held by MALSC at the Civic Centre in Strood. It will appear on the website alongside such famous works as the Lindisfarne Gospels and Leonardo da Vinci's drawings. The competition was organised to promote and give greater prominence to important examples of England's documentary heritage from around the country. The website uses Turning the Pages software to allows viewers to virtually ‘turn’ pages of a famous book on their computer screens. Textus Roffensis was compiled about 1123 and contains the earliest recorded English laws, as well as the first record of the English language, copied from long-lost originals written in the early Seventh Century. It also includes the Institutes or Coronation Oath of King Henry I of 1100, which represents the first step in the creation of a constitutional monarchy and accountable government, influencing Magna Carta in 1215. Other highlights are lists of pre-Domesday Book Kent parishes and one of the earliest English uses of the now universal Arabic numbering system. The book's name is derived from its having been kept inside the nave or choir of Rochester Cathedral. [ends]