The material in this section provides the briefest of introductions to the discipline of editing, paleography, and manuscript study. Many excellent resources exist, online and in print, should you wish to continue your study of editing medieval texts from manuscripts. Here are a few places to start.
The National Archives Tutorial in English Paleography. Although this teaches a later, early modern hand, it is a good introduction to the techniques of paleography.
Stanford's Digging Deeper Online Course. This free, 6-week-long course teaches you the basics of the medieval book, including how books were made and written, and introduces you to a number of manuscripts and writing technologies.
English Handwriting 1500-1700: An Online Course. This site teaches a later hand, but it is useful as an additional resource.
Medieval Writing is a comprehensive site on medieval handwriting, from the 4th to the 16th centuries. The exercises on Gothic hands will be the most relevant to the study of Middle English texts.
Download this user's guide to fonts for a clear and concise description of the many medieval hands. See especially the descriptions of Gothic hands and English hands.
Issues in Editing
Repositories of Digitized Manuscripts
Penn in Hand. Digital facsimiles of manuscripts held by the University of Pennsylvania.
Digital Scriptorium. A consortium of libraries that provides free online access to manuscripts from a number of collections.
Bischoff, Bernhard. Latin Palaeography: Antiquity and the Middle Ages. Trans. Cronin and Ganz. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 2008.
Derolez, Albert. The Palaeography of Gothic Manuscript Books. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 2003.
Parkes, M.B. English Cursive Book Hands. Burlington, VT: Ashgate, 2008.
Issues in Editing
Cerquiglini, Bernard. In Praise of the Variant : A Critical History of Philology. Trans. Betsy Wing. Baltimore : Johns Hopkins University Press, 1999.
Machan, Tim William. Textual Criticism and Middle English Texts. Charlottesville : University Press of Virginia, 1994.
Zumthor, Paul. Toward a Medieval Poetics. Trans. Philip Bennett. Minneapolis : University of Minnesota Press, 1992.