A rare collection of royal charters dating back to the 12th century will be restored as part of a new project to preserve the precious documents for future generations.
The ‘Lincoln Charters Project’, which is a partnership between the University of Lincoln, UK, and the City of Lincoln Council, will see conservators and medieval experts at the University working to preserve, digitally record, and analyse some of the city’s most prized manuscripts.
The collection of royal charters, which belong to the City of Lincoln, span nearly 400 years and include important documents from the reigns 25 kings, including King John, King Richard II and King Henry V.
This will be the first time that the city’s charters have been inspected and repaired since 1788 when Samuel Lyon, the city’s Town Clerk, carried out the work. While some of the documents have been put on display in the city’s Guildhall, many have not been seen since they were placed into the Lincolnshire Archives in 1904.
The project will provide a unique teaching experience for students on the University’s BA (Hons) Conservation of Cultural Heritage and it is hoped that the restored charters will eventually form a new display in the city’s Guildhall for the public to enjoy.
Dr Lynda Skipper, Senior Lecturer and Programme Leader in the University’s School of History and Heritage, said: “Our work aims to preserve the charters to the city for future generations to appreciate. This is a really exciting opportunity to be involved in the conservation of these historic items, and to collaborate with the Guildhall on their redisplay.”
Professor Philippa Hoskin, Professor of Medieval Studies at Lincoln said: “The manuscripts reflect the city’s great importance in medieval times, where it took centre stage as the capital of England’s largest diocese, and afforded the city with various trading grants and privileges.”
Kate Fenn, Civic and International Partnerships Manager at the City of Lincoln Council, said: “We are delighted that the University has agreed to work on our treasurable charters and cannot thank all those involved enough. We are certainly looking forward to eventually displaying the charters in the Guildhall and sharing them with the people of Lincoln.”