A Corpus of Scottish Medieval Parish Churches
Grant Holder: Professor Richard Fawcett
Apart from a few widely known examples, such as Edinburgh St Giles or Perth St John, the medieval parish churches of Scotland are very rarely dealt with in discussions of architecture in Britain in the Middle Ages. This is largely because they have never been systematically studied as a body, and there is surprisingly little knowledge of how much of medieval date survives. Indeed, it became clear some years ago that even the Church of Scotland itself was largely unaware of the medieval origins of the core of its stock of parish churches.
The aim of the project was to determine how much medieval fabric survives, either visibly or embodied within later buildings, to correlate this with the historical sources in order to determine likely dates of construction and adaptation, and to present an overview of all of the parish churches that embody medieval fabric.
In Scotland there are 1,136 sites. The current project was a one-year AHRC-funded pilot to establish the feasibility of a larger study covering all relevant sites. It focused on dioceses of Dunkeld and Dunblane, which together embrace some 97 parishes. The benefit of considering these dioceses initially was that, although largely rural in character, they also include a number of important urban settlements, so that the range of architectural types is relatively wide. There is the additional factor that the historical sources for these dioceses have been less closely studied than is the case for some of the larger dioceses, meaning that there was less risk of bringing preconceptions to the work.
The project team identified 105 sites for inclusion in the electronic resource. In total the resource comprises 1154 images, most of which where taken onsite by project members.
|Project start date: 2008-03||Project end date: 2009-02|
|2d Scanning and photography||Data capture|
|Accessibility analysis||Strategy and project management|
|Cataloguing and indexing||Data structuring and enhancement|
|Coding and standardisation||Data structuring and enhancement|
|Text encoding - presentational||Data structuring and enhancement|
|Record linkages||Data analysis|
|Web browser scripting||Data publishing and dissemination|
|Collaborative publishing||Data publishing and dissemination|
Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC)
Content types created:
Dataset/structured data, Still Image/Graphics, Text
Software tools used:
Extensible Markup Language (XML), PHP, PostgreSQL, Apache
Source material used:
The electronic resource comprises textual descriptions for each of the architectural sites. Textual descriptions were produced by the project team. In addition there are 1154 still images that were photographed digitally on site.
Digital resource created:
To manage the images for each architectural site the project set up an image collection in the University of St Andrews image database (http://imagedatabase.st-andrews.ac.uk). To meet the project’s specific needs for the description of sites and associated images a template was set up that maps terminology used for each of the elements in a record to the VRA Core 4.0 metadata standard the image database is built upon. In addition to systematic storage of images the database was used to provide an easy data input and editing mechanism for each record, including essay-length descriptions for each of the architectural sites. Once entered into the image collection, data is displayed dynamically on the project web site that provides the public interface for the research outcome. Records can be sorted by Diocese, Deanery, County and Council. The site is fully searchable and utilises the image database search mechanism.
Generation of HTML from PostgeSQL database for web delivery, online images are created dynamically from uncompressed TIFF files in the image database
Data Formats created:
Extensible Markup Language (XML), Hypertext Markup Language (HTML), JPEG File Interchange Format (JPG), Portable Network Graphics (PNG), PostgreSQL
Metadata standards employed:
Visual Resources Association Core 4.0 (VRA)
Forthcoming: Fawcett, Richard, Richard Oram and Julian Luxford. "Scottish medieval parish churches: the evidence from the dioceses of Dunblane and Dunkeld." Antiquaries Journal (2010).
Institutions affiliated with this project:
|UK HE institutions involved:|
|University of St Andrews|
|University of Stirling|
Project staff and expertise:
|Principal staff member:||Professor Richard Fawcett, Dr Julian Luxford, Professor Richard Oram|
|Other staff:||Computing officer(s) / Technical supporter(s)|
|Metadata on this arts-humanities.net record|
|Author(s) of record||Birgit Plietzsch|
|Title||A Corpus of Scottish Medieval Parish Churches|
|Record updated||2010-06-11 11:17|
|URL of record||http://www.arts-humanities.net/node/2798|
|Citation of record||Birgit Plietzsch: A Corpus of Scottish Medieval Parish Churches.|
created: 2009-06-02, last updated 2010-06-11 11:17