Research group visits Canterbury Cathedral archive

The volunteer research and archive group visit Canterbury Cathedral. They will be exploring documents going back to the 11th century for stories of deaf and disabled lives in medieval alms houses.

On a sunny morning, an intrepid group of volunteers plunged into the cool cloisters of Canterbury Cathedral, which house the archive. These beautiful surroundings contain documents from the 11th Century onwards and are well worth a visit. After an induction into the project, the volunteers were given training on how best to use the resources within the archive to research our project. The archivist team had already pulled up a list of likely sources which the volunteers then chose from. Among them were documents from the 15th Century, written in Latin and complete with red wax seals. There is nothing like a medieval document to get the pulse racing on a Tuesday morning!
Due to the age of some documents, it is not possible for them to be photographed, as it would damage them, so we took a picture of one of the beautiful gateways into the cathedral as we left. All the volunteers will be working their way through the list of sources and finding clues to how Maison Dieu in Faversham and the other alms houses on the pilgrims’ route to Canterbury can tell us more about deaf and disabled people all those years ago.

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