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Reconstructing the Phillipps Manuscript Collection: using Linked Data technologies to analyse the creation and dispersal of a major European cultural heritage collection (PHILLIPPS)
Start date: May 12, 2014, End date: May 11, 2016 PROJECT  FINISHED 

This project aims to test and evaluate the value and applicability of innovative e-research methodologies in an important and significant field of cultural heritage research: the history and transmission of cultural objects between different collections and owners over many centuries. This analysis will focus on reconstructing the Phillipps Collection: a now-dispersed 19th-century collection of about 60,000 European manuscripts.The significance of the Phillipps Collection for the history of medieval and early modern manuscripts is incalculable. Phillipps helped to ensure the survival of a large number of manuscripts which might otherwise have been lost. Through its sale and dispersal, the collection enriched the holdings of institutions in many countries and made this manuscript heritage accessible around the world. There are significant groups of former Phillipps manuscripts in England, Wales, France, Belgium, Germany and the United States. These manuscripts are now the object of research by a wide variety of different disciplines, including literature, history, art, philosophy, music, linguistics, and law.This project will assemble and analyse a large body of data relating to the history of this corpus of manuscripts over many hundreds of years. Linked Data technologies and standards will be used to express this information in the form of a network of relationships which can serve as the basis for statistical analyses and graphical visualizations of the history of the collection as a whole and the individual objects in it.The project aims to address two main research questions:• The applicability and value of Linked Data technologies as a methodology for the large-scale analysis of the history of cultural objects and collections;• The history and significant characteristics of the transmission of a major group of European medieval manuscripts between collections and collectors over the centuries.
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