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About the Project

The Visionary Cross project is an international, multidisciplinary research project whose principle objective is the development of a new kind of digital archive and edition of texts and objects associated with the Visionary Cross tradition in Anglo-Saxon England.

Taking its cue from recent developments in digital editorial theory and practice, the project takes a  data-centric, distributed, and generalisable approach to the representation of cultural heritage texts, objects, and contexts in order to encourage broad scholarly and popular engagement with its material.

The material this project represents includes some of the most studied and most popular artefacts from the Anglo-Saxon period: the Ruthwell Cross, Bewcastle Cross, Brussels Cross and Vercelli Book Dream of the Rood and Elene poems. With the exception of the Bewcastle Cross, which we intend to scan as part of a new funding request, these objects all have been captured digitally by members of the team over the last decade as part of other projects. We are now collecting and publishing these digital representations as part of a thematically organised, Open Access, and extensible, multimedia digital library. We will also develop two other forms of mediated access: a research/educational edition aimed at researchers and students and a more popular interpretative portal designed to work with tourism and cultural heritage outreach activities.

The project has been funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (O’Donnell, PI), the University of Lethbridge CREDO (O’Donnell, PI), the University of Leeds (Karkov, PI), and the Universita’ degli studi di Torino (Rosselli Del Turco, PI).

The project is led by an international team of researchers (in alphabetical order): James Graham, Catherine Karkov, Daniel Paul O’Donnell, Wendy Osborn, Dot Porter, and Roberto Rosselli Del Turco.


    • Catherine E. Karkov
      Catherine E. Karkov is Professor of Art History, University of Leeds.
      She is an art historian who has published and lectured on both the Ruthwell and Bewcastle crosses. Karkov will be directing exhibition, preservation and art historical/historical research aspects of the project with Ian Woods. She has just completed a multi-year international project on the Cross in Anglo-Saxon England and is currently working on a book on Anglo-Saxon art.
    • Roberto Rosselli del Turco
      Roberto Rosselli Del Turco is an Assistant Professor at the Universita’ degli studi di Torino, where he teaches Germanic Philology and Old English language and literature. He is director of the Digital Vercelli Book, an independent project which will supply images of the folios containing the Dream of the Rood poem and related bibliography. In collaboration with O’Donnell, Rosselli Del Turco will supply TEI compliant XML transcriptions of the poem, and will direct work on extensibility. Rosselli Del Turco is a founding Board member of the Digital Medievalist Project.
    • James Graham
      James Graham is an Associate Professor in the Department of New Media at the University of Lethbridge (Alberta, Canada). He is a digital 3D specialist who is experienced with scientific visualization and professional video games production methods. He will be responsible for assisting with the laser scans of the Ruthwell and Bewcastle Crosses and developing methods for real-time navigation, visualization and interactivity using technologies borrowed from next-generation video game production.
    • Wendy Osborn
      Wendy Osborn is Assistant Professor in the Department of Mathematics and Computer Science at the University of Lethbridge (Alberta). She is a computer scientist, director of the Southern Alberta Digital Library (SADL), and a specialist in digital library technology and content-based indexing of multimedia objects. Osborn will have particular responsibility for development of the search and retrieval engine.
    • Dot Porter
      Dot Porter is the Associate Director for Digital Library Content & Services at the Indiana University Bloomington Libraries. Dot holds Master’s degrees in medieval studies and library science and started her career working on image-based digital editions of medieval manuscripts. She has worked on a variety of projects, focusing on materials as diverse as ancient texts and Russian religious folklore, providing both technical support and scholarly expertise. Since 2010 she has been in her current position in the Digital Library Program at the IU Bloomington Libraries, where she leads the creation of new services to support librarians and faculty in the creation of digital projects. Dot contributes metadata expertise to the Visionary Cross project.

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