THE University of York has obtained a £175,000 grant to help get one of the most important collections of historical materials in England online.

The grant - from the US-based Andrew W Mellon Foundation, will support the first year of a project to digitise the Registers of the Archbishops of York, spanning four centuries.

It will mean Registers of 21 Archbishops, from 1225 to 1646, will online for the first time with more than 20,000 page added to the University of York’s Digital Library (YODL).

Professor Mark Ormrod, the University’s Academic Co-ordinator for Arts and Humanities, said: “The Registers are a vital source for understanding the historic role of the Church in the political, social, confessional and cultural life of the UK.

“They provide rare testimony on questions of continuity and change between the medieval and the early modern periods, and will be an invaluable online tool for scholars and the wider public to conduct historical research.”