The editing method preferred by the Literary Board for early legal texts depends on the nature of the extant witnesses. For Latin texts, the Board asks that editors review all extant manuscripts, identify original witnesses, and use these witnesses to reconstruct the original or archetype. The apparatus should provide all the evidence that justifies this reconstruction, as well as all vernacular words or phrases occurring in the text in full.

For Old English and Anglo-Norman French texts, the method may be slightly or significantly different, depending on the text. Editors should carefully consider all the extant copies of texts and make a decision either to produce an edited text that represents the original or archetype, or to present an edition based on the best witness, with reference in the apparatus to other witnesses.

In both cases, editors will also provide transcripts of unusual or singular manuscript witnesses whose copies constitute important evidence for reception and use of text.

The work for the project will be done either by individual editors or by teams of scholars. Given the complexities of many of the texts, the Board encourages editors to collaborate with other scholars—in general from other disciplines—to bring the greatest level of expertise to the task. The make-up of these teams will inevitably vary, but in addition to historians and language specialists, may also include paleographers, anthropologists, sociolinguists, and lawyers. This does not mean a team must be interdisciplinary. Nor does it mean that a scholar may not undertake an edition without any collaborators. The Board, however, will be especially keen to ensure that the editing can be completed at a high standard regardless of the make-up of the team or the background of the individual editor.

Interested editors should consult the proposal guidelines. Questions about all aspects of the proposal and editions should be sent to Bruce O’Brien, chair of the Literary Board and Associate Editor of the project, at bobrien [at]