About the Project

The Carolingian Canon Law project is a searchable, electronic rendition of works of canon law used by Carolingian readers. This project maps the extent of variation in "standard" legal texts known to Carolingian readers, and identifies particular points of variation. In addition to clarifying the textual history of medieval canon law, the project will provide historical and bibliographic annotation of several hundred canons used by jurists before, during, and after the Carolingian period. We invite all scholars of medieval canon law to contribute translations, annotations, transcriptions, and comments. All such contributions are publicly credited. To contribute, please register for an account.

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Using the CCL

  • To find canons that include a particular word or phrase: Go to “Search Latin Corpus”. Type your query in the search box. TIP: In the result screen, look above the search box for suggestions of other words you might want also to check: you can click on those words for direct searching.
  • To find a transcription of a collection: Go to “Transcriptions”. In the “Filter” box, type an element of the title, and click “Apply”. Example: if you want the transcription of ms Cologne, Dombibliothek, 122, the Collectio Dacheriana, put “122” in the filter box, or “Dacheriana”. “Dacheriana” gives a list of all the CCL’s transcriptions of the Collectio Dacheriana. TIP: Before going to “Transcriptions”, go to “Collections” or to “Shelfmarks” to learn what to look for. Make a note of the siglum assigned to each manuscript, and use the siglum in the “Filter” box.
  • To find translations of specific canons, or commentaries on specific canons: Go to the “Translations and Annotations”. Use the Filter Boxes to select the canon you want. You can combine Filters to narrow your choices.
  • To translate a canon to add to the CCL published translations:
    1. Go to “Translations and Annotations”. Using the Filter box(es), find the canon you wish to translate.
    2. Log in with your CCL account.
    3. Click “Be The First!” in the “Translations” column for that canon. You will be given a new screen with two boxes. The first box has been automatically filled in with the title of the canon. Do not change it. The second box, labelled “body”, is where you type your translation.
    4. When you are finished, go to the bottom of the page and click “Save”. TIP: SAVE = PUBLISH! As soon as you click “Save”, your translation is published on the CCL.
    5. If you regret your decision, go back to the dialogue page with your translation, and click the button at the bottom of the page that says “delete”. Any contribution to the site is publicly credited automatically.

    TIP: You may comment on published translations: there is a “Comment” box below each translation. Log in to your account in order to make a comment. Another TIP: There can be more than one translation of a canon. If someone else has Been The First, just click “add a translation”, and you will get a dialogue screen for another translation. Proceed as if you were The First.

  • To annotate a canon:
  • Take the same steps as to translate a canon (see above), but click on the Be the First in the Annotation column.

  • To ask a question or make a comment:
    1. Go to “Notes and Queries”, log in, and either click on an existing Note or Query to add a comment. You may also start a new forum for discussion.
    2. To comment on a translation or annotation of a particular canon, go to “Annotations and Translations”, log in, and click on the translation or annotation you wish upon which you wish to comment. There is a comment box available for every translation and annotation.
    3. Send a note to us, at ccl@uky.edu

  • To collate texts that have been published on the CCL:
    Go to “Collate” and read the instructions.
  • To transcribe a text or canon(s) for integration into the CCL database:
    Go to "Transcribe" and read the instructions.

And what is the “Conceptual Corpus” ?

The Conceptual Corpus contains every canon from every manuscript of every collection in the CCL. It thus represents the entire corpus of canon law that may have been available to Carolingian readers. That is, it assembles the evidence from every witness to form a corpus that, although not represented in any real, single manuscript, is attested piece by piece in surviving manuscripts. How much of the corpus any Carolingian had available is, of course, an interesting question.

You can explore the Conceptual Corpus by using the filter boxes, or clicking on the column headings to arrange it alphabetically by Title, Shelfmark, Siglum, or Locus.

Have fun! It is all free!


Under "Notes and Queries" (see the Navigation Panel on the left-hand side of the page, near the bottom), there is a forum for discussion of the problem of naming pre-Gratian canon law collections. This problem is becoming acute for the CCL: as we investigate more and more manuscripts, we are finding more and more collections that have not been registered in Lotte Kéry's Canonical Collections of the Early Middle Ages.  We would like to have our users help shape reasonable policies for naming collections published for the first time on the CCL.  Please visit the forum page, log in, and offer your thoughts!