The C15th illuminated bibles in the care of Malmesbury Abbey were not well displayed, and a rethink was required including the creation of interpretation.
SolidArt created highly secure UV-blocking glass cabinets with timed push-button lighting in which to house these fragile books. The glass cabinets were mounted on our solid oak cabinets supporting interpretation panels which told the story of medieval manuscript production. The new interpretation text was illustrated with images of the materials and methods used in the craft, and we introduced a touchscreen to enable visitors to zoom in to a selection of illuminations from the bibles, together with more detailed theological information on their meaning. To help younger visitors engage with the exhibit we added a simple step to raise their viewing position.
Abbey staff volunteers observe a high level of interest in the bibles by the Abbey’s many visitors. The aesthetically attractive way in which the bibles are displayed is much commented on, as well as the ability to examine the illuminations using the touch screen. The staff are pleased they can now turn the pages by withdrawing the bibles, which are mounted on runners for ease of access.