A good way to start exploring the core content of the Parker site, especially if you are not sure how to construct an appropriate search is to "browse" - click the Browse link to begin.
You can browse the collection in many ways. For instance, to see a list of all manuscripts in the collection, sorted alphabetically by the titles given to them by the Corpus team, select browse by "Manuscript Title". You can use the letters at the top to skip down the list. We'll select the letter "A".
To work with a specific manuscript, click its description link, or move directly to images of its pages by clicking the images link. We'll look at both types of links in this tutorial. For example, to see more information about the Parker Library copy of the famous thirteenth-century instructions for an anchoress or female hermit, click the Description link in the entry for Ancrene Wisse.
The information on this screen is the catalogue record for this manuscript in M. R. James's catalogue, amended by the Parker on the Web project staff. Changes are highlighted in colour, and their source is given in the tag at the end. For help understanding the information presented here, please view our fourth tutorial, "About Manuscript Descriptions".
To see the James catalogue entry for this specific manuscript in its original printed form, select "Original James Record (PDF)." Note that this record is in a PDF, that is, a Portable Document Format, file. Depending on how your browser is configured, it may appear right in the browser window, or the browser may ask you if you want to download the PDF file to your computer for viewing with another program like Adobe's Acrobat Reader.
We'll return to the reformatted catalogue entry by clicking the back arrow on our browser.
We have added a brief summary of each manuscript, giving basic information about its contents, date, provenance, and importance. You can access this by selecting "Summary".
To see digital images of the manuscript itself, click Images.
The Manuscript View screen represents the bound manuscript lying open, on a table in the Parker Library, just as a reader would see it. To simulate turning its pages, click the forward arrow repeatedly. Here's one click, two, three, and so on - and we can move forward through the manuscript's pages as we like.
[Make sure this is repeated until f. 3r is displayed.]
The other buttons let us move back to the first page, back a single page, or forward to the last page.
To move through the manuscript quickly, without turning each page individually, move the slider on the bar to the right. Though we don't see each page, we can see the current page numbers increase or decrease as we slide.
[Show both forward and backward movement...]
To go directly to a specific page or folio, enter the page or foliation number here and for a foliation number, click the recto or verso button, and for a page number, click the page button. Some manuscripts are paginated like modern printed books, but many have foliations instead; in this case each leaf is given a number and the front of the page is specified as the "recto" and the back as the "verso". A colleague suggests we look at 21 recto, so let's go there. (enter "21", choose recto)
To examine this page carefully -- it has an interesting example of a green sewn mend -- click "zoom view".
Zoom view shows you the page images and gives you the choice of seeing them either with the scale bar and colour bar used when the images were captured visible, or with those bars hidden. To see the difference, click "view with scale", then click "view without scale" to return to the way it was.
To zoom, move the slider bar toward the plus sign (representing more magnification) or click the plus sign repeatedly.
To move the viewer window on the page, click and drag the marquee on the thumbnail on the left. You can also click and drag the main image itself to centre it precisely (do this until the margin decoration in the upper right corner is centred in the viewer window).