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<i>The Piers Plowman Electronic Archive Vol. 4: Oxford, Vol. 4: Oxford, Bodleian Library, Laud Misc. 581 (L)</i>.

The Piers Plowman Electronic Archive Vol. 4: Oxford, Vol. 4: Oxford, Bodleian Library, Laud Misc. 581 (L).

Laud Misc. 581 presents a documentary and color facsimile of a London manuscript and the most reliable of the beta family witnesses to the B version of the poem. Every image of each text is hypertextually linked to the edited text which is itself presented in four different views: a diplomatic type-facsimile; a scribal text which includes iconic indications of scribal error; a critical text with lapsus calami corrected; an AllTags view that shows all of the editorial interventions on one screen. The edition also includes a full introduction, featuring a detailed description of the manuscript, explanation of editorial method, and linguistic description. There are two browsers: the JR Viewer, for basic operations, and the Elwood Viewer, by which “readers can easily enlarge or apply color filters to specific portions of document images without having to toggle between multiple windows or leaving the base window of the edited text. They may also conduct complex Boolean searches of the document’s text and XML markup using specific words and phrases as well as broadly generalizable regular expressions. The results of these searches are presented as a concordance-on-the-fly in which, among other things, digital images of each line of found text may be displayed beside the text itself. Other, equally powerful features equip Elwood’s users with tools that promote full interactive engagement with documents that it presents.”

Rev. by:

  • Simon Horobin, YLS, 19 (2005), 222–26;
  • Brian Morgan, Medium Ævum, 77 (2008), 173–75;
  • Karl Reichl, Anglia, 126 (2008), 551-57; 
  • Sarah Wood, Notes and Queries, 56 (2009), 450-51;
  • Stephen A. Barney, Studies in the Age of Chaucer, 34 (2012), 396-401.


SEENET Series A.6. CD-ROM. Published for The Medieval Academy of American and SEENET by Boydell & Brewer Ltd, 2004.


Duggan, Hoyt N. and Ralph Hanna, eds.