Project Status: Ongoing

Published by the Society for Early English and Norse Electronic Texts (SEENET), the Piers Plowman Electronic Archive is a collaborative, peer-reviewed, and open-source web platform for the study of the texts and manuscripts of the late Middle English poem, Piers PlowmanPiers Plowman is a poem rich in versions and variants, and the project sets as its goal the publication of digital editions of each of the over 50 manuscript witnesses to the poem. Thus far it has published eight manuscripts in addition to the a reconstructed digital edition of the archetype of the B text of the poem. Many other manuscript witnesses are in the process of being edited as of 2020.

Each manuscript’s edition displays the text and material features of the manuscript along with the images from that manuscript. Users can also compare the text of individual manuscripts to the edited version of the text, making the platform particularly useful for comparing variant readings. Users will also find teaching materials for Piers Plowman along with an extensive bibliography on textual and manuscript studies as they relate to the poem.

Though image copyrights are held by institutions, the edited editions are open for use with citation. The source code and markup for the Archive is also downloadable.

Medieval content details:

Dates: 1300 - 1560

The date range comprises the range of dates for the witnesses to Piers Plowman, of which two derive from the 16th century.

Subject: CodicologyLiteratureManuscript Decoration/IlluminationManuscript StudiesMaterial CultureMiddle EnglishPaleographyPhilologyPhilosophy, TheologyPolitical ThoughtTheology

Type/Genre of Medieval Primary Source Material: AllegoricalArt and ArtifactsDidacticLiteratureManuscriptsMaterial EvidencePrinted BooksTextual EvidenceVerse

Geopolitical Region: British Isles and IrelandEnglandEurope

Original Language: EnglishFrenchLatinMiddle EnglishMiddle French (14-15C)