King Arthur Conquers Cyberspace
King Arthur: Legends go back hundreds of years
Ancient manuscripts telling the story of the legendary King Arthur are set to go online.
The British Library is to make computer images of its priceless parchments for the Arthurian Heritage Trust.
They include the 11th century writings of Geoffrey of Monmouth and Sir Thomas Malory’s Morte D’Arthur, published in the 15th century.
The Trust aims to make them available in a digital archive for use by schools, academics and others at its Cornwall base.
And Daniel Parsons, director of the Trust’s project, said the archive could then be transferred to its internet site, making it a global resource for research and interpretation of the material.
He told BBC News Online: “The Arthurian legends are some of the most important cultural traditions in Europe and we want to make them more widely available.”
The Trust is still trying to raise £1.6m to complete the project, dubbed Camelot.
And it is negotiating the purchase of an ancient Cornish manor house at Slaughterbridge, near Camelford, to house the archives and become a permanent centre for the Trust.
The house is close to the site of what some scholars have identified as Camlann, scene of Arthur’s final battle with his treacherous nephew Mordred.
The British Library already makes manuscripts of the Magna Carta and other historical items available on its internet site.
But the Trust hopes to embellish its Arthurian material with interpretations and music.
Special provision will be made for children at the centre where schools will be encouraged to participate in visits and computer links with other schools in Britain and overseas.
There will also be programmes of residential lectures, seminars and workshops on Arthurian and related themes.