It almost took until Domesday to finish...

November 15, 2002

More than 20 years of painstaking work has finally borne fruit at the University of Hull where three academics have managed to produce the world's first electronic Domesday Book .

The digital version of the 11th-century document won a prestigious medal at the British Computer Society Awards last week.

Previous attempts in the US, Australia and the UK failed. In the late 1990s, a government-funded venture in California spent $3 million (£2 million) over ten years before it was abandoned.

Project leader George Slater said: "Developing the Domesday Explorer has been a real labour of love, which makes having our efforts rewarded by the British Computer Society an even bigger honour. We now plan to continue our developments of the product, with a view to publishing further advanced versions over the next few years."

The Domesday Book is the UK's oldest public record, detailing the landholdings and resources of England following the Domesday audit in 1086. The original is kept at the Public Record Office.

The Domesday Explorer features images of the entire manuscript, a complete translation of the text, plus maps and databases that its creators hope will be an invaluable resource for universities and schools worldwide.

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