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Middle English Dictionary

Welcome to the electronic Middle English Dictionary. The print MED, completed in 2001, has been described as “the greatest achievement in medieval scholarship in America.” Its 15,000 pages offer a comprehensive analysis of lexicon and usage for the period 1100-1500, based on the analysis of a collection of over three million citation slips, the largest collection of this kind available. This electronic version of the MED preserves all the details of the print MED, but goes far beyond this, by converting its contents into an enormous database, searchable in ways impossible within any print dictionary.

Ogham in 3D

The ultimate aim of the Ogham in 3D project is to digitise and record in 3d as many as possible of the approximately four hundred surviving Ogham stones and to make the resulting 3D models freely available on this website as part of a multi-disciplinary archive of Ogham stones.

* National History Day Selected Resource *

ORBIS – The Stanford Geospatial  Network Model of the Roman World

ORBIS: The Stanford Geospatial Network Model of the Roman World reconstructs the time cost and financial expense associated with a wide range of different types of travel in antiquity. The model is based on a simplified version of the giant network of cities, roads, rivers and sea lanes that framed movement across the Roman Empire. It broadly reflects conditions around 200 CE but also covers a few sites and roads created in late antiquity.

The model consists of 632 sites, most of them urban settlements but also including important promontories and mountain passes, and covers close to 10 million square kilometers (~4 million square miles) of terrestrial and maritime space. 301 sites serve as sea ports. The baseline road network encompasses 84,631 kilometers (52,587 miles) of road or desert tracks, complemented by 28,272 kilometers (17,567 miles) of navigable rivers and canals.

* National History Day Selected Resource *

Piers Plowman Electronic Archive

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.

Restoring Lost Songs: Boethius’ Consolation of Philosophy

Restoring Lost Songs is a Cambridge University project to reconstruct the music accompanying Boethius’ Consolation of Philosophy. Though it is understood that early medieval composers set music to Boethius’ lyrics, it remains unclear what the melody of those performance sounded like due to the notation systems used. The project seeks to offer possible restorations of the music in text and performance. On the platform, one may find a list of medieval manuscripts containing notated versions of the Consolation in addition to links to repositories and sometimes images of the manuscript. Additionally, a user may search by song to find in which manuscripts it appears.

The project has also published scores in modern notation of possible restorations of some of the lyrics. Additionally, the project offers numerous essays on topics from instruments and notation, to performance practices. Finally, the platform offers numerous video and audio recordings of their restorations in performance in addition to teaching materials. The site is occasionally updated as of 2020.

Middle English Text Series (METS)

The TEAMS Middle English Texts are published for TEAMS (The Consortium for the Teaching of the Middle Ages) in association with the University of Rochester by Medieval Institute Publications, Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo, Michigan. The General Editor of the series is Russell Peck of the University of Rochester. The texts are made available here by permission of the Executive Committee of TEAMS and The Medieval Institute at Western Michigan University.

The goal of the TEAMS Middle English text series is to make available to teachers and students texts which occupy an important place in the literary and cultural canon but which have not been readily available in student editions.

The focus is upon literature adjacent to that normally in print, which teachers need in compiling the syllabi they wish to teach. The editions maintain the linguistic integrity of the original works but within the parameters of modern reading conventions.

We are grateful to the National Endowment for the Humanities for its generous support in creating and maintaining this site.

* National History Day Selected Resource *

The Community of the Realm in Scotland 1249-1424

The Community of the Realm in Scotland 1249-1424 is an ongoing project hosted by King’s College, London that seeks to provide digital editions of important Scottish documents from the middle and later medieval period. The creators of the project have begun with the Declaration of Arbroath, a seminal document in the foundation of a community of the realm of Scotland, and Regiam Majestatem, the foundational legal document for the realm. Rather than privileging stemmatic editing and its search for an archetypal version of a text, the Community of the Realm’s edition of the Declaration allows a user to compare versions of the document as it appears in different manuscript witnesses. When in comparison mode, a user can view others’ annotations or make their own. Likewise, users can view the document in Latin or in an English translation for comparison.

The project does not limit itself to just its viewer. The creators envision the platform as providing a space for discussion of Scotland in the high Middle Ages and beyond. The site provides a biweekly podcast, an active blog, multimedia videos on the history of Scotland, and the XML data they have used to create the editions. The site is free to use for non-commercial purposes.

The Open Access Companion to the Canterbury Tales

The Open Access Companion to the Canterbury Tales is a free resource for the study of Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales written and curated by professional scholars of medieval literature. The project is imagined as a resource for undergraduate and graduate students encountering the Tales early in their academic careers. Teachers of Middle English literature may find the essays particularly useful and approachable for classroom use. Articles comprise essays and reference chapters. Essays cover a topic of import to Chaucer’s work, for example “Sisterhood and Brotherhood in the Knight’s Tale,” whereas reference chapters treat foundational cultural topics, like manuscripts and everyday life.

All of the texts on the Companion’s site are freely available and peer reviewed by scholars of Middle English literature.