As the useful links page of the website makes clear, researchers have developed a number of different medieval charter databases. The design of such databases varies, depending on the aim of the project and the technologies available. This series of blog posts aims to explain in more detail than would be possible in an article or conference paper, both how the Making of Charlemagne's Europe project database was structured and why we made the decisions we did. The main emphasis is on how our data structures relate to the specific characteristics of the content they hold (early medieval charters). While the technology continues to advance, many basic problems will remain in deciding how to represent the information in medieval documents in a standard format.
Early medieval charters document a wide range of transactions. In the next few instalments, this blog will examine a few of the most common types of activities recorded in the charters preserved from Charlemagne’s reign and explore the contexts of the production of these documents.
This is the first in a series of blog posts intended to introduce some basic aspects of both 'The Making of Charlemagne’s Europe' and the age of Charlemagne itself. Here we'll explain what we’re doing and what users will be able to do with our database. We'll also offer primers on some important facets of early medieval life in order to help users understand the material they find in the database.
The Making of Charlemagne’s Europe team gave several presentations at the International Medieval Congress 2014 at Leeds. One of the comments raised in discussions afterwards was about the interconnectivity of the Charlemagne database with other databases; one of the people who raised this was Florence Codine-Trécourt from the Bibliothèque nationale de France, Department of Coins, Medals and Antiques. She was talking about current efforts to ensure the interconnectivity of coin databases, but she’s also working within the context of the humanities institutions who have always taken interconnectivity the most seriously: libraries. One of the most useful databases to which I have access is one of the great triumphs of interconnectivity: COPAC, which connects together the library catalogues of more than 80 research libraries in the UK and Ireland.
'Charlemagne: The First 1200 Years' was a half-day event commemorating Charlemagne's death, held at King's College London on 28 January 2014.