production and use english manuscripts 1060 to 1220 The University of leicester logo University of leeds
Edited by Orietta Da Rold, Takako Kato, Mary Swan and Elaine Treharne
(University of Leicester, 2010; last update 2013), ISBN 095323195X

Editorial Polices

The Catalogue gives a record of all the manuscripts we have identified containing texts written in English between 1060 and 1220.

Texts are described in terms of their language, contents and position in the manuscript. Incipits and explicits and most short notes are transcribed. Dates and places are given where known, and sample images of selected manuscripts are provided. The Catalogue also gives a detailed record of physical aspects of more than hundred manuscripts. The Catalogue is searchable across all its data by the Search Box in the left-navigation bar and indices.

We recognise that there is a longstanding tradition of practices and methodologies in describing and cataloguing manuscripts. Models often vary from country to country, occasionally with very little agreement on what exactly one ought to note when cataloguing manuscripts.

As Petrucci in his survey on La descrizione del manoscritto explains, we have:

Analytical catalogues: full-scale catalogues which include detailed analyses of manuscripts from external features (place, material, date, sizes, foliation, structure, script and ornamentations and binding) to history of the codex and internal features (texts). The bibliography is as complete as possible, including everything written on and about the manuscript.

Summary catalogues: for instance, the Bodleian Library Catalogue and Ker's Catalogue of Manuscripts Containing Anglo-Saxon which provide summary information on content, physical description, provenance and a bibliography of the primary sources.

Inventories: these mainly provide information on the number of manuscripts in a specific location.

Special catalogues: these may be focused on such things as single works or authors, specific disciplines, dated and datable manuscripts, specific chronological periods, illuminated manuscripts or fragments, or they may be of material of a documentary nature (cartularies, other unbound documents, archival material and manuscripts containing historical and documentary material).

This co-existence of different typologies of catalogues is, of course, the outcome of diverse scholarly approaches and interests. In essence, different typologies of catalogues serve different purposes and provide differing levels of information. This is a crucial consideration when the catalogue of a research project such as ours is being designed, inasmuch as our catalogue is driven by specific research questions. The research questions of our Project have inevitably informed our decisions about how much detail to include in each aspect of the Catalogue.

In the early stages of our work we explored several methodologies and sought advice regarding the implementation of the best technology to achieve the aims and objectives of the Project. After a period of testing, we have adopted Extendable Mark up Language (XML). XML is flexible and sustainable and a standard is now emerging amongst scholars working with digital catalogues; all projects ought to comply with this for compatibility and to facilitate subsequent research.

We have adopted the Text Encoding Initiative guidelines P5, which include a thorough discussion of manuscript description and documentation to support the implementation of the standards. P5 guidelines allow the possibility of diverging from the standard if necessary.

The list of manuscripts contains all examples which have been identified of English texts written between 1060 and 1220. We also provide descriptions of all the manuscripts with a summary and an itemized list of contents, and a bibliography. The descriptions can be accessed by clicking on the relevant entry link in the list of manuscripts. Bold fonts are used to indicate those descriptions which include a physical description and information about provenance (History).

The descriptions can be also accessed by browsing manuscripts. The nature of these texts varies from homiletic to hagiographical to legal to marginal and interlinear annotations and glosses to Latin texts. For every manuscript, we provide information in the list on current location (repository, collection, shelf-mark), reference to Ker's Catalogue of Manuscripts Containing Anglo-Saxon, contents, place of production (if known, and if they were produced between 1060 and 1220; if the manuscripts were produced before 1060, we give the known locations of the manuscripts between 1060 and 1220), and date referring to English items copied between 1060 and 1220.

We also list the manuscripts which have been reported to have contained Old English written between 1060 and 1220, but where the Old English no longer survives.

The dates given on the list of manuscripts and the Catalogue are from Ker's Catalogue, except in cases where we have revised Ker's dating, where our date is given instead. The individual manuscript descriptions give an explanation of our dating where appropriate.

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