Production and Use of English Manuscripts: 1060-1220

Production and Use of English Manuscripts: 1060-1220 image

A catalogue of all known manuscripts which contain English dated from c. 1060 to 1220


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Production and Use of English Manuscripts: 1060 - 1220 provides the first full and accurate records of the manuscripts, especially those containing literary materials written principally in English from c. 1060 to 1220. This will constitute a properly formed and exceptionally valuable scholarly resource for use by the Project and all interested researchers. The Catalogue presents descriptions of all the manuscripts we are aware of which contain English dated from c. 1060 to 1220. It presents data on the texts and scribes of these manuscripts; and, in the major case studies, exceptionally detailed research on the codicology, palaeography, and textual allegiances of particular codices.

The analytical work of the Project will amount to a mapping of the production of this material in terms of place, date, scribes and resources, and probable purpose. It will also situate English textual compilation in its full cultural context, bridging the traditional periodization of 'Old' and 'Middle' English and bringing to prominence a significant corpus of material whose importance for understanding the impact of the Norman Conquest and its aftermath has never before been investigated.


This resource is of particular relevance to scholars in manuscript studies, palaeography and codicology. Its comprehensive coverage of the period from the Norman Conquest to the early 13th century makes it an important resource for those interested in the early development of English as a written language.

The catalogue gives a detailed record of the physical aspects of each manuscript and the English texts it contains, including codicology and palaeography. There are three levels of description: detailed case studies (for a small number of manuscripts), and descriptions or summary descriptions for the majority of manuscripts.

Every description contains information on current location (repository, collection, shelf-mark), contents, place of production (if known), and date. Incipits and explicits and most short notes are transcribed. The catalogue does not include transcriptions or editions or images of whole texts.

The website also includes essays on cultural contexts, bibliography, and a basic keyword search.

Introductory reading

Da Rold, O. 'English Manuscripts 1060 to 1220 and the Making of a Re-Source'. Literature Compass, 3 (2006).

Technical Methods

The catalogue was compiled in TEI XML from a range of differing sources: analytical catalogues, summary catalogues, inventories and special catalogues.

Special Characters

The resource includes the full set of searchable special characters thorn (þ, Þ), eth (ð, Đ) and yogh (ȝ, Ȝ).

About the project

The project was a collaborative enterprise between the Universities of Leeds and Leicester, directed by Dr Mary Swan, Professor Elaine Treharne, Dr Orietta Da Rold and Dr Jo Story. Dr Takako Kato was the research associate. The research was funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council.


Search Production and Use of English Manuscripts

Source Types

  • Literary Manuscripts
  • Non-literary Manuscripts


  • Manuscript Descriptions


  • scribal cultures
  • codicology


  • English


  • Free

Time Period



University of Leicester

Cite this page:

"Production and Use of English Manuscripts" Manuscripts Online (, version 1.0, 15 June 2024),