Picture this

In collaboration with Canterbury Cathedral Archives & Library and Canterbury Christ Church University.
‘Picture this…’ is a collaborative project bringing together academics and researchers with the aim to share the wonderfully rich collections of Canterbury Cathedral Library & Archive’s collections with the wider public.

Initially the brainchild of Dr Jayne Wackett (MEMS) and Karen Brayshaw of Canterbury Cathedral Library (now of Special Collections at the Templeman Library, University of Kent), the project is now co-ordinated by an editorial team led by Dr Stuart Palmer (University of East Anglia), alongside Dr Diane Heath (Canterbury Christ Church), Dr Robert Gallagher (MEMS) and Cressida Williams (Canterbury Cathedral Archives & Library).

Now entering its seventh year, ‘Picture this…’ is a monthly online feature which takes a digital image from Canterbury Cathedral Library’s store of manuscripts and early printed books and shares the content and context of the picture with an online audience via an accompanying article. Over the years the project has developed a wide readership, and attracts interest from historians, archivists and librarians looking to contribute and participate in the project.

Over the course of over seventy articles, all of which are available via the cathedral website, a multitude of authors have discussed some of the highlights of the collections, from Shakespeare’s folios to stunning examples of medieval manuscript illumination and early modern map making. However, the project also maintains an appetite for more obscure texts held within the library, and has covered topics as diverse as the early modern frog and the cathedral’s medieval waterworks, and in the year ahead unicorns, elephants and medieval charms and incantations.

Picture This…’ has allowed research students from MEMS and, more recently, from Canterbury Christ Church to gain first-hand experience of working with the cathedral’s resources and to share their expertise via online publications. It is infamously difficult for postgraduates and early career scholars to make their debut in the publishing world and online articles on a credible website provides a small but viable platform for voices to be heard. This process starts with annual writing workshops at the cathedral library where PGR and PGT students and staff browse a selection of the library and archive’s treasures looking for inspiration.

‘Picture This..’ is an exciting and energetic collaboration that brings together a range of scholars, researchers, institutions and the wider public in a shared love of the past and its visual riches. As we enter 2019, the editorial team have lined up a range of articles from MEMS and CCCU students and staff, all of which will be released via the cathedral website and Twitter accounts on the first of every month.

Visit the ‘Picture this…’ website to see all published articles: http://www.canterbury-cathedral.org/conservation/library/picture-this/