Manuscripts are often fantastic fusions of art and technology: great calligraphy, beautiful illuminations, a fantastic feel somewhere between rag paper and thin leather, and a smell somewhere between old paper and wet leather. But they're old, and fragile, so often this information gets lost in the press for a cheap edition. We lose calligraphy, we standardize spelling and orthography, we cut out images and make cheap paperbacks that you can buy. But the interweb has changed all that. We have a bright shiny digital future ahead of us, but we need some way to take the past with us.

Take a look at some of the famous manuscripts of Arthurian legend, anything from a nice edition of the History of the Kings of Britain to the rather manky Thorton manuscript (our source for the Alliterative Morte Arthure). Because medievalists are so hip, many of these manuscripts are available online—though beware of the transcriptions of manuscripts. I want you to look a the book itself. Oftentimes you can find the manuscript names on Wikipedia, and if you're lucky, someone's put up the links to the manuscripts. Oxford, Cambridge, the British Library, and the Bibliotheque Nationale de France have nice online collections.

Whatever you do, just ask yourself how you would reproduce that manuscript in a digital form similar to the Norton’s Morte? More importantly, how would you do so for an eBook, especially one that, like Amazon’s Kindle, locks you into a single font at time? How would you include manuscript images? Textual notes? Critical apparatuses?

Several of you might work together on a single manuscript, though please do only work on one manuscript at a time. Feel free to consult other projects, though.

Some RulesEdit

  1. As you find articles to work on, add them to this list.
  2. Please tell me what you've signed up to do, and DON'T EDIT OTHER PEOPLE'S STUFF. Malicious edits will lose you points, and possibly result in failure for the assignment. I know this is the internet, but please avoid the temptation to behave like you're five years old.
  3. Academic honesty rules still apply; give credit where credit's due. Use sourced material, and don't use copyrighted material without permission.

Project ListEdit

Add your project below. Please list the work, the manuscript, and who's working on it. For example: Layamon's Brut - MS. Cotton Caligula A ix - John Carter and Dejah Thoris

  • First Project