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Friday, March 19, 1999 Published at 22:20 GMT


Anglo-Saxon goes online

Oxford University is a partner in an online Anglo-Saxon project

The Anglo-Saxons are taking to the Internet in an ambitious project involving a number of leading British universities.

The universities of Oxford, Cambridge, King's College London and Manchester are among the partners in a major academic project to create a definitive online database for studying Anglo-Saxon writers.

The "Fontes Anglo-Saxonici" project will build a Website holding all the work of Anglo-Saxon authors and all the sources that they might have used. These poems and chronicles, hand-written over a thousand years ago, are now to become part of the digital age.

The long-term project has been accumulating material for a number of years, but is now reaching its final stages with the setting up of the Internet site.

The database, which will be used by English literature and language academics, holds 16,500 records, relating to about 900 Anglo-Saxon texts.

Scholars studying a particular author will have access to all other relevant texts and all the sources that might have been used by the author, whether in Anglo-Saxon, Latin or other languages.

The period covered by the database includes those authors writing in the run-up to the end of the last millennium, with the electronically-stored texts showing how writers used the apocalyptic writings of the Bible to describe the approach of the second millennium.

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