Title Background

The <i>Piers Plowman</i> Electronic Archive

The Piers Plowman Electronic Archive

Accessible at http://jefferson.village.virginia.edu/seenet/piers/piersmain.html. The international team of editors responsible for The Piers Plowman Electronic Archive is creating a research textbase consisting of electronic texts of all of the medieval manuscripts and sixteenth-century printed texts of the Middle English alliterative dream-vision PPl. PPl’s immense popularity among all classes of English readers subjected its text to massive interference and contamination with the result that it presents the most interesting textual challenge now facing students of Middle English literature. In order to produce critical editions of the three canonic versions of the poem, the team is preparing documentary editions of all fifty-six witnesses, including the hybrid scribal editions, each hypertextually linked to a color digital facsimile. The electronic texts so generated will serve as the basis for future literary and textual study as well as for analysis of late medieval paleography, codicology, dialectology, lexicography, metrics, and stylistics. The first two volumes of the Archive have been published on CD ROM with the University of Michigan. Similar editions are nearing completion, such as L (Skeat’s copy text, Bodleian Library, MS Laud Misc. 581 [ed. Ralph Hanna and Duggan]); O (Oxford, Oriel College, MS 79 [ed. Katherine Heinrichs Rehyansky]); and R (the two fragments from British Library, MS Lansdowne 398 and the Bodleian Library MS Rawlinson Poetry 38 [ed. Robert Adams and Duggan]). Other documentary editions are in various states of completion: M (British Library, MS Additional 35287 [ed. Eric Eliason and Thorlac Turville-Petre]); C (Cambridge University Library, MS Dd.1.17 [ed. Duggan et al.]); Ht (Huntington Library, MS Hm 114 [ed. Patricia R. Bart]); Hm and Hm2 (Huntington Library, MS HM 128 [ed. Michael Calabrese, Thorlac Turville-Petre, and Duggan]), and G (Cambridge University Library, MS Gg.4.31 [ed. Judith Jefferson]). See also Annual Bibliography 1999: YLS 14.