General Transcription Policy

Transcription and editorial teams should aim for semi-diplomatic transcriptions of their texts. As spelling was not standardized, transcribers will encounter a variety of word forms, and their aim should be to represent as closely as possible the text as it appears on the page. A list of special characters can be found below.

Spelling: Use original spelling when possible.

Abbreviations: Expand all abbreviations. Identify missing characters with italics, using html <i></i>, e. g. c<i>r</i>ist: crist.

Superscript and subscript may be marked with the html <sup></sup>, e. g. c<i>r</i><sup>i</sup>st: crist.

Word and syllable separation: As these transcripts will eventually be used for dialectic analysis, please refrain from imposing a normalized word and syllable separation, as significant orthographic practices may be deduced from scribal practices.

Letter forms: The transcription of the South English Legendary aims for graphemic transcription, ensuring that the transcripts of the various manuscripts and scribal hands are captured accurately to enable later scholarship, capturing especially dialectic data for future comparison to the Linguistic Atlas of Late Mediaeval English. In view of this, do not modernize letter forms, e. g. “u” and “v”, “i” and “j”. Preserve “y” wherever it occurs, regardless of modern orthographic practices. When relevant, normalize the final i-longa as “i” in roman numerals.

Capitalization: Use original capitalization.

Punctuation: Use original punctuation. A list of special punctuation, including punctus and punctus elevatus, can be found below. Preserve original punctuation, and where warranted, indicate color via markup, e. g. <span style=”color: red;”>¶</span>

Marginalia: When marginalia indicate a section break, place as an inline section head. When marginalia provide additional material, add the text to the bottom of the page and mark as [marginalia]

Line Breaks: Hit return once after each line ends.

Illegible Text: Indicate illegible readings in single square brackets [Dr?]

Scribal Corrections: Leave a comment in the page notes with line number and erroneous text. Where scribal corrections are superscripted, tag the addition accordingly: e.g. <sup></sup>. Render scribal deletion with strikethrough. Transcribe interlinear additions using superscript tags.

Catchwords and foliation: Render any catch words or foliation as a final line of each folio.

Mise-en-page: The mise-en-page of each manuscript differs and we leave it up to the transcriber to best capture the manuscript page as it appears aligned with TEI standards: Andrew Dunning provides an effective breakdown here:

Headers: Use <div> and <span> tags to mark up any headers: e. g. <div align=”center”><span style=”color:red; line-height:15px;”>de s<i>an</i>c<i>t</i>o.</span></div>

de sancto.

Initials: Use <span> to describe decorated initials and paraphs as they appear.

Rubrication: Use <span style=”color:red;”>

Special Characters: Copy and paste the following special characters in your transcription.

  • ȝ (yogh) Ȝ (capital yogh)
  • þ (thorn)   Þ (capital thorn)
  • ⁊ Tironian note
  • · punctus
  •  punctus elevatus: will display correctly with junicode
  • ¶ Paraph mark


Below is a list containing resources that you may find useful for the duration of the transcription.