Carolingian Culture at Reichenau and St. Gall
The St. Gall Project (2005-2012) was funded by generous grants from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation which CMRS administered. The project’s departure point is an extraordinary drawing of an ideal monastery, known as the Plan of St. Gall. Created in the early ninth century, the Plan is the oldest surviving visualization of a building complex produced in the Middle Ages, containing ground plans for some forty buildings, ranging from a church, monastic school, abbot’s residence, and infirmary, to water mill, stables, and poultry houses.
Left to right: Prof. Patrick Geary (History, UCLA), Prof. Karl Brunner (Institute for Historical Research, Vienna), Dr. Barbara Schedl (CMRS VR Coordinator, UCLA), and Dr. Peter Erhat (St. Gall Monastic Archives).
The first phase of the project (2005-08) focused on the drawing of the monastic complex. A highly detailed digital image of the Plan was made available online, including searchable indices of its buildings and their notations on the Plan, as well as a series of material culture databases which provide information about actual Carolingian monastic complexes.
The project’s second phase (2008-12) consisted of digitally reconstructing the libraries of the ninth-century monasteries at Reichenau (where the Plan was created) and at St. Gall (for which the Plan was created). This virtual library, which includes 171 complete digitized manuscripts with metadata, provides scholars with access to high resolution copies of the texts that informed the world of those who produced and appreciated the St. Gaul Plan.
Over the years, many people contributed to the success of the St. Gall Project. Phase one of the project was co-directed by Professor Geary and Bernard Frischer (former UCLA professor and current Director of the Institute for Advanced Technology in the Humanities, University of Virginia). Dr. Barbara Schedl (University of Vienna) was Project Manager at UCLA and directed the work of a team of graduate students. Dr. Julian Hendrix served as Project Manager for the second phase of the project, and Dr. Richard Matthew Pollard and Dr. Joshua A. Westgard were Manuscript Specialists. Technical support was provided by the UCLA Digital Library Program, headed by Stephen Davison.
The website is titled “Carolingian Culture at Reichenau and St. Gall” and it is found at www.stgallplan.org. It includes high resolution images of the St. Gall Plan, searchable databases on medieval monastic culture, and the virtual library. All areas of the site are accessible free of charge. The website is hosted by UCLA as part of the Digital Library holdings. Its content is updated and expanded as needed by the Institute for Medieval Research of the Austrian Academy of Sciences in Vienna under the direction of Professor Walter Pohl.