The digital and design aspects of ILLUMINATED were the main focus of DIGITAL LAYERS, a two-year project (April 2014 - March 2016) supported with public funding by Arts Council England. The twenty illuminated manuscripts currently showcased in ILLUMINATED form the first group of material from the Fitzwilliam Museum’s collection to be presented in this online resource.
The content for ILLUMINATED was generated within the context of two ongoing research projects led by the Fitzwilliam’s manuscript curators, conservators and scientists. The Cambridge Illuminations project is researching the illuminated manuscripts at the Fitzwilliam Museum and the Cambridge Colleges and publishing them in a multi-volume catalogue series. MINIARE focuses on the non-invasive scientific analyses of artists’ materials and techniques in illuminated manuscripts. ILLUMINATED integrates discoveries made by both projects. It also includes results from cross-disciplinary collaborations of the Fitzwilliam’s experts with scholars in Cambridge, the UK and overseas.
The Cambridge Illuminations and MINIARE projects have benefitted from the support of a private benefactor, the British Academy’s Neil Ker Memorial Fund, Cambridge University’s Large Cross-School Funding Bids, the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation, the Finnis Scott Foundation, the Isaac Newton Trust, the Mercers’ Company, the Pilgrim Trust and the Zeno Karl Schindler Foundation.
The conservation of the manuscripts, informed by the research results, was sponsored by the Fitzwilliam Museum’s Marlay Group and the National Manuscripts Conservation Trust.