Wednesday, November 9, 2011


Greetings! I’m Michael Elliot, a PhD candidate at the Centre for Medieval Studies at the University of Toronto, where I study Anglo-Saxon canon law. I am currently involved in a number of editorial projects related to this subject, foremost among these being a new edition of the Excerptiones Pseudo-Ecgberhti, a mercurial and textually anarchic canon law collection compiled (in at least five versions) by Archbishop Wulfstan of York in the early decades of the eleventh century.

I come to T-PEN via the Carolingian Canon Law Project. I have been involved with CCL since 2009 preparing transcriptions of early medieval canon law collections and working with Dr. Abigail Firey and her team to develop a system of XML mark-up to describe these collections. As a participant in the CCL I was involved early on in experiments with producing CCL-conformant transcriptions using T-PEN. It has been exciting to witness how T-PEN has developed and improved over just this last year, becoming an ever easier and more enjoyable tool to use. Over the next six months I will be helping to further test T-PEN as the project moves into beta release. In addition to preparing transcriptions of a variety of canonical manuscripts within T-PEN, I will be experimenting with introducing structural mark-up into a T-PEN transcription “in real time”, as well as testing the functionality of importing transcriptions into, and exporting transcriptions out of T-PEN for incorporation into the CCL’s database.

The advantages of transcribing texts within the T-PEN environment are becoming clearer and more numerous the more I work with the project. I am especially enthusiastic about the partnership between T-PEN and the CCL because these projects are developing new and exciting ways of approaching the previously intractable problem of editing texts whose textual tradition defies a recensionist methodology. My own pet project, Wulfstan’s Excerptiones, is such a text, and I hope one day to take advantage of the tools developed by T-PEN and the CCL to prepare an edition of this difficult and misunderstood work.


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