A team of British scientists will visit Christchurch this month to uncover hidden information contained in a 600-year-old medieval manuscript.
The Canterbury Roll is a 15th century English illuminated genealogical scroll acquired by the University of Canterbury in 1918 and is the only genealogical roll in the Southern Hempishere.
The Canterbury Roll dates back to the War of the Roses - a series of civil wars in in England between 1455 and 1485.
This year marks the centenary of the University of Canterbury acquiring the roll.
University of Canterbury senior lecturer Dr Chris Jones said the roll was the most significant substantial medieval artefact in New Zealand.
"Using cutting edge technology that allows users to interact directly with the manuscript, the university is making the roll available to the world accompanied by a brand new English translation."
A British scientific research team will visit the university next week to carry out in-depth testing of the roll to look for hidden writings and any other features.
Haida Liang will lead the team and is the head of the Imaging & Sensing for Archaeology, Art History & Conservation research group at Nottingham Trent University.
Dr Jones said the roll was owned by Sybilla Maude who was well known in Canterbury as a nurse.
"We are unclear how her family acquired it, although the family believed in 1918 that they had owned it since the Middle Ages."
Canterbury College professors bought the roll as part of an effort to help foster a sense of British identity in the closing days of WWI, Dr Jones said.
The digitised Canterbury Roll will be available to the public in 2018.