Young scholars present their discoveries at Free Library. 

On December 12, the team at the University of Pennsylvania gave a presentation about the work they’ve completed so far on the “Edward IV Roll” and delivered a sneak preview of how their transcription and translation will fit into the digital mapping of the manuscript. The presentation was attended by members of the Special Collections staff at the Free Library of Philadelphia, which houses the roll, and the Board of Directors of the American Branch.

The students, all PhD-level, gave short presentations on the historical context of the roll, the potential source materials used by its scribes, and the peculiarities of this genealogy with its focus on Edward IV’s claim to the throne through his paternal grandmother’s Mortimer ancestry.  They discussed various lines for future research and study.

The presentation was so successful that two future events have been planned:  one exclusively for members of the Richard III Society and another for the general public (TBA).  At that time, the students hope to have completed and checked their transcription and translation of the entire roll and will be able to give additional thoughts about the use and significance of the genealogy in the early reign of Edward IV.

The American Branch of the Richard III Society has had a long connection to the Edward IV Roll, its preservation, and now its interpretation. The first phase of the current Edward IV roll project is to transcribe and translate all the text, work that is now coming to completion.  The second phase will entail creating a digital “map” of the roll which will allow viewers to interact with the manuscript’s images and text.

The team at the University of Pennsylvania are Ariel Bates, Emma Dyson, Noa Nikolsky and Professor Emily Steiner who is supervising their work.  Financial support for the project has been provided by the Richard III Society, American Branch.