Durham University and Durham Cathedral have teamed to digitally recreate a medieval monastic library. The Durham Priory Library Recreated project, which was officially launched today, will make available over 350 volumes of texts that once belonged to the priory in northern England. The manuscripts and early printed texts, which date back to the sixth century, originally belonged to the Benedictine monks of Durham Priory until the dissolution of monasteries by Henry VIII from 1536-41. Fortunately, much of this collection remained at the Cathedral, and over the next five years they will be digitized and made freely available online.
“This project opens up the Priory Library for researchers around the world to explore,” said Judy Burg, Head of Special Collections at Durham University. “By the end of the project around 350 volumes will have been digitised and we hope to extend the work to include about 200 further volumes that were originally part of the Priory Library but were scattered across the UK since the dissolution in 1539.”
Users will be able to search the collections, discuss the content, leave feedback, and make online annotations of the manuscripts and printed books to support collaborative research.

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