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IMC 2019: Sessions

Session 718: Breaking the Mould, I: Digital Approaches to Preserving and Accessing Seals Collections

Tuesday 2 July 2019, 14.15-15.45

Sponsor:The National Archives
Organiser:Paul R. Dryburgh, The National Archives, Kew
Moderator/Chair:Hollie Morgan, School of History & Heritage, University of Lincoln
Paper 718-aRecord Series PRO 23: Unsealing Collections
(Language: English)
Amy Sampson, Collection Care Department, The National Archives, Kew
Index terms: Archives and Sources, Computing in Medieval Studies, Heraldry
Paper 718-bUnderstanding the People of Medieval England through Seal Matrices
(Language: English)
Robert Webley, Department of Archaeology, University of York
Index terms: Archaeology - Artefacts, Archaeology - General, Technology
Paper 718-cHeroes and Monsters in Wax: Using Reflectance Transformation Imaging (RTI) to Record Medieval Impressions of Antique Gemstones
(Language: English)
John McEwan, Center for Digital Humanities, Saint Louis University, Missouri
Index terms: Archives and Sources, Art History - Decorative Arts, Technology

Seals are one of the most important material legacies of medieval Europe. For all strata of society the impression of a metal matrix into soft wax provided authentication and validation of an individual or a community's will. Many tens of thousands of impressions survive in library and archive collections across the UK, both as originals and as modern casts, and large numbers of matrices have been discovered by archaeological survey and chance discovery. Preservation of and access to these collections for scholars in numerous disciplines is being transformed by digital technologies and approaches to description, which now take their essential materiality into greater account. This session will showcase aspects of this digital transformation with regard to seals moulds, gem seals and new imaging techniques and seal matrices.