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 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 canonical 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 by the University of Michigan Press on CD ROM. The first volume, March 2000, is a combined documentary and color facsimile edition of Oxford, Corpus Christi College, MS 201, conventionally designated with the sigil F. The second volume, December 2000, is a combined documentary/color facsimile edition of Cambridge, Trinity College, MS B.15.17, prepared by Thorlac Turville-Petre and Duggan (“W,”the copy text for both K-D and Schmidt’s several editions of B).