Decision-making and work flow in Exon Domesday

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Exeter, Cathedral Library and Archives, MS. 3500 is a manuscript of exceptional complexity, produced in response to King William I’s order to create the survey of his English dominions known since the twelfth century as Domesday Book. The Exeter manuscript is both a unique survival from the first information-gathering phase of the survey (between Christmas 1085 and 1 August 1086) and a rare example of a datable manuscript from the generation after the Norman Conquest of England. Its codicology and palaeography have been minutely surveyed as part of a major research project (2014-2017) which has shown that its twenty-five scribes collaborated in orderly fashion, anticipating the receipt of new information, correcting and checking content, necessitating the involvement of as many as four scribes on a single page. This paper will suggest that that Exon Domesday was a precocious example of administrative processes usually associated with the later Middle Ages.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationScribes and the Presentation of Texts (from Antiquity to c. 1550)
Subtitle of host publicationProceedings of the 20th colloquium of the Comité international de paléographie latine, Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Yale University (New Haven, September 6-8, 2017)
EditorsBarbara A. Shailor, C. W. Dutschke
Place of PublicationTurnhout
PublisherBrepols Publishers
Number of pages21
ISBN (Electronic)978-2-503-59562-7
ISBN (Print)978-2-503-59516-0
Publication statusPublished - 24 Dec 2021

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