Thanks to the power of the internet, medieval life is being unlocked for everyone. Manuscripts at the University of Manchester's John Rylands Library are to be photographed with a high definition digital camera. The images will be published on the web.
The project will begin in October and will be completed in 2009. As the manuscripts are fragile, the project will give everyone the chance to appreciate the beauty of the medieval texts.
Each manuscript gives a fascinating insight into medieval lives, says John Hodgson, keeper of manuscripts and archives. One of the earliest existing manuscripts of the complete Canterbury Tales is included in the collection.
The Forme of Cury is a 600-year-old recipe book, written by Richard II’s master cook. It includes recipes made with costly spices. "The ingredients were extremely expensive and beyond the income of the peasants and the middle classes," Mr Hodgson says.
There is a 500-year-old translation of the Bible into English by John Wyclif, the radical and reformer. A forerunner of the Reformation, Wyclif’s translation of the Bible was designed to be accessible to ordinary people.