Introduction to the Principles


The CCL intends to support editorial projects in their very first stages, before the editor has determined which manuscript to use as a base text, or even what type of edition is best suited either to the material or to a particular investigation. We therefore want to provide the sorts of raw transcriptions that editors make in the beginning, before editorial intervention or corrections to present the "best" or "original" text. CCL transcriptions record every textual corruption, orthographical error, scribal misunderstanding, and strange reading that a given manuscript may present. By compiling evidence published in the CCL, editors will be able to discern interesting patterns and relationships before committing to particular editorial practices and principles. As more and more transcriptions are contributed, the harvest of readings will become ever richer.

Transcriptions have no editorial corrections or modifications. (Protocols for abbreviations and punctuation, however, are discussed below.) Suggestions for editorial intervention may be made on the linked CCL wiki, section four (e.g., "Surely the reading 'deo' is supposed to be 'de eo'!"; "I saw the same substitution of "pondere" for "honore" in Paris, B.N., lat. 3837"; etc.). These may be contributed at any time, either by the transcriber or by other scholars.

We try to make the transcriptions as useful and clear as possible-- and sometimes the need for clarity in our display, as well our desire to supply as many transcriptions as soon as possible, supercedes presentation of every codicological detail. Editors may well still need to consult the manuscripts themselves in order to verify particulars, but at least they will have some sense of what they want to verify, and in which manuscripts.