The British Library, as one would expect, is very interested in OP - which is, I suppose, the auditory equivalent of reading old tests in their original written form. When we put on the 'Evolving English' exhibition at the Library in 2011, one of the immediate impressions, as one entered the space, was the auditory atmosphere - voices resounding everywhere, and headphones inviting you to listen at several tables. Here you could hear reconstructions of Beowulf, Chaucer, Caxton, Paston, Shakespeare, and more. They proved to be one of the most popular exhibits. There were often queues to listen. And that exhibition proved to be the best-attended of the BL's winter exhbibitions. A definite win for the English language.
The BL followed it up in 2012 with a CD called 'Shakespeare's Original Pronunciation', and this year they have taken OP back almost a century with a CD of William Tyndale's St Matthews's Gospel. The BL has one of the two surviving copies of Tyndale's New Testament (1526) that have survived (the others were burned), and a beautifully produced full-colour facsimile was published by the BL in 2008. This is the version used for the CD. (I was allowed to hold that original edition when we were preparing the 'Evolving English' exhibition, and I was reluctant to wash my hands thereafter, not wanting to remove all traces of the molecules that must have transferred from its pages to me.)
I recorded the Matthew over two days at the BL just a year ago, and it was a very interesting experience. The tricky bit was making myself forget Shakespearean OP. Tyndale is midway between Chaucer and Shakespeare, and if you've ever heard texts from these two authors read in OP you will know just how much change there was in pronunciation at that time. Apart from anything else, there was the huge change in long-vowel phonetic qualities known as the Great Vowel Shift. So after Tyndale, several things happened to pronunciation before we arrive at Shakespeare. For example, the silent letters (in know, gnash, would, and so on) were on their way out by the time Shakespeare was writing, but they were very definitely around in Tyndale's day, so teeth 'guhnash' and people 'kuhnow'. Lots of differences to keep an eye on - too many to remember off the cuff - so it was necessary to transcribe the whole thing in a phonetic transcription before doing the reading. And, of course, as with Hamlet's 'the play's the thing', this was not to be an exercise in historical phonetics, but a genuine reading. I've done this once before, for the St John Gospel, but that was in modern English. An OP reading of any old text brings it to life in a new way, and I hope I was able to capture this in my reading. It's out now, anyway, and can be accessed via the British Library.