The manuscript tradition of the Chroniques is a particularly rich quarry for research into many aspects of the period (history, art history, book production, literature), but research has to date been hampered by difficulties in comparing the original materials dispersed to libraries across different countries. The Online Froissart offers access to the manuscript tradition of the first three Books of Froissart’s Chronicles. It delivers complete or partial transcriptions of all 113 surviving manuscripts containing these Books, a new translation into modern English providing readers with an accessible way of exploring chapters selected from the first three Books, several complete high-resolution reproductions of illuminated manuscript copies, and a range of secondary materials (codicological descriptions, name/place index, historical commentaries, textual commentaries, scholarly essays, a glossary and some commentaries on the illustrations).
The Online Froissart also provides a number of advanced tools with which to unlock the riches of the resource. These include a collation tool allowing word-by-word comparisons, a search engine for simple and complex queries, a transcription viewing mode allowing users to go straight to definition entries in the online Dictionnaire du Moyen Français, and a dedicated manuscript viewer for manipulating the electronic facsimiles (also viewable under Navigate > Manuscript facsimiles). Well-known episodes can be quickly located (via Navigate > Chapter summaries).
The Online Froissart grew out of work on the manuscripts of Jean Froissart’s Chroniques by Peter Ainsworth and Godfried Croenen, and by a number of Sheffield and Liverpool PhD students (Valentina Mazzei, Katariina Närä, Rob Sanderson, Dirk Schoenaers) and research assistants (Lorna Bleach, Vanessa Cardoso, Simon Littler, Florent Noirfalise and Gem Wheeler). It also builds on the Virtual Vellum manuscript viewing software developed by Mike Meredith and Peter Ainsworth at Sheffield for working with the digital reproductions of the Besançon, Stonyhurst, Toulouse and Brussels manuscripts photographed by Colin Dunn and David Cooper. The award of an AHRC Resource Enhancement grant in 2007 allowed the various resources created in the course of these different projects to be brought together, and funded further work on the transcriptions (Hartley Miller, Natasha Romanova), on a new translation into English (Keira Borrill) and on web-deliverable annotation (Katariina Närä). The same grant funded the development of a single web interface for accessing and comparing all the materials (Jamie McLaughlin, Mike Meredith). Further contributions came from scholars associated with the project (Christopher Allmand, Anne Curry, Christiane Raynaud, Richard and Mary Rouse, and Inès Villela-Petit).