Matthew Parker Library
Matthew Parker Library
As Citrus Studios, we were honored to contribute to the design and implementation of a digital platform for the historic Matthew Parker Library. Nestled within King’s College in Cambridge, England, this library is named after Matthew Parker, the Archbishop of Canterbury from 1559 to 1575. A renowned scholar, Parker had a passion for collecting and preserving medieval manuscripts, many of which have remained in the library that now bears his name.
The challenge to create a digital home for this extensive collection was an opportunity we could not pass up. This initiative was a joint effort between King’s College, Stanford University, and the Mellon Foundation.
Design and launch a digital platform that could house the rich archive of medieval manuscripts.
Develop a user-friendly interface allowing both scholars and the general public to delve into these historical treasures.
Ensure that the historical authenticity and origins of each manuscript were preserved and presented appropriately.
To truly understand the needs of the project, we made a journey to Cambridge ourselves. We immersed ourselves in the unique atmosphere of the library, understanding its history and operations first-hand. We conducted in-depth interviews with the staff, librarians, and users. Collaborating with representatives from Stanford University and the Mellon Foundation also proved invaluable in shedding light on the vision and expectations from an academic and philanthropic perspective.
Drawing from the insights gained during our research, we designed a digital library system tailored to the diverse needs of stakeholders. Academics needed a robust search function and high-resolution images; the public required an intuitive, engaging design; librarians wanted an easy-to-navigate back-end system.
We built the platform using a responsive web design, ensuring an optimal viewing experience across devices. The user interface was crafted to be intuitive and user-friendly. We developed a powerful search function that could be fine-tuned based on various parameters, such as the time period, place of origin, or authorship.
On the back-end, we provided a flexible Content Management System (CMS) for librarians. This included tools for cataloguing manuscripts, uploading high-resolution images, and maintaining detailed provenance records for each item.
Digitizing these priceless manuscripts involved a painstaking preservation process. Each manuscript was handled and digitized under stringent conditions to avoid damage. Additionally, the platform was designed to include comprehensive records of each manuscript’s provenance and historical significance, ensuring this invaluable context was preserved in the digitization process.
The result was a unique digital platform that preserved and showcased thousands of medieval manuscripts while making them accessible worldwide. The reception from users was overwhelmingly positive, with particular praise for the user-friendly interface and powerful search tool.
Creating the digital platform for the Matthew Parker Library was a landmark achievement for us at Citrus Studios. The collaboration between King’s College, Stanford University, the Mellon Foundation, and ourselves resulted in a solution that has not only preserved an invaluable piece of our shared cultural heritage, but has also opened it up to be discovered and explored by people worldwide.
Design and integration of a complex digital platform that could house the rich archive of medieval manuscripts.