English Parish Churces CD ROM Released
Background to the Collection
Dr. Phillip Lindley and Alex Moseley are pleased to announce the release of the first in a series of CD-ROMs mapping the ecclesiastical architecture of Britain through the photographic collection of Dr. Donna Chaproniere, taken since the early 1950s and donated by her in 1993 to the History of Art department of the University of Leicester, England.
Published by BREPOLS, the CD-ROM presents around 1,000 black and white photographs alongside texts describing the setting and detail of each image.
With a development team including alumni from the History of Art department, the CD-ROM represents the first major electronic publication from the Faculty of Arts.
The photographs range from general views of churches in the landscape, to exteriors and interiors of churches. They cover both medieval and post-medieval works.
The collection will prove an invaluable resource for those who are interested in parish church architecture, sculpture, carpentry or monuments and provides a range and number of photographs unparalleled outside national archives.
The photographs are black and white, but for some of the stained glass and those illustrating the introduction. The contrast and sharp focusing of the monochrome images affords a fine attention to detail.
The CD Rom
Dr. Chaproniere arranged her photographic collection geologically and regionally, in order to relate the development of the parish churches to the economic and landscape history of their localities. Each volume will have an introduction by Dr. Chaproniere which sets the parish churches in the context of their locality. A comprehensive bibliography is also provided for those interested in reading more widely on the area.
The Gloassary explains the numerous art-historical and architectural terms used throughout the CD ROM. The glossary can be searched independently, making it a useful tool in its own right.
Accessing the Photographic Collection
Each photograph is accessed from a settlement or village page, which provides brief details about the church’s location. Accompanying every photograph is an explanatory caption, which will help to make the collection an instructive and fascinating visual resource.
As a result of this, the photographs can be accessed in a number of different ways:
For the casual browser a number of tours have been set up along the major river valleys in the area. This allows the user to visit a number of churches along a predefined path, whilst having the option to break away from the tour and explore an area of particular interest.
A section providing the names of all settlements covered in the collection allows users to find a particular village or town. Ordnance Survey map references are also provided.
This is the fastest method of accessing particular photographs and will probably be the most useful method of entry for researchers.
On-screen maps of the whole area, and smaller square areas based on the OS grid. Clicking on an area of the map or the settlement name will allow access to the photographs associated with that particular area.
A search mechanism is provided, allowing searching of textual descriptions accompanying images. In the first volume of the series, searches are limited to each of the OS-grid based areas as described above; it is therefore useful for finding similarities between churches in a particular area.
The above access options can be combined or used in any order.