Another of those huge fields. I have given only pauca e pluribus,
intending this a guide rather than a bibliography, though I must
admit that I have included too much.
1. The best introduction is still: Otto Staehlin, Editionstechnik.
2d ed. (Leipzig: Teubner, 1914. I have translated its table of
contents for you, so you can see what the field covers:
Staehlin - TOC
1. Delimitation of the field -- 2. Examples from neighboring
disciplines -- 3. Generalities and bibliography -- I. Preparation
of the edition: 1. Previous editions -- 2. Use of relevant
bibliography -- 3. Non-print material -- 4. Relationship with other
investigators in the field -- 5. Search for manuscripts -- 6.
Examiningand collating the manuscripts -- 7. The relationships of
the manuscripts -- 8. Format -- 9. Your manuscript -- II.1 The
printing of the edition -- 10. Title page -- 11. The content of the
introduction -- 12. The external form of the introduction -- II.2:
The text of the edition -- 13. The choice of fonts -- 14. Critical
signs in the text -- 15. Paragraph numbers in the text -- 16. Page
ends in the manuscript and the edition -- 17. Organization by
indentation -- 18. Punctuation -- II.3. The use of the margins --
19. The upper margin -- 20. Inside and outside margins -- 21. The
lower margin -- 22. Apparatus criticus, general remarks -- 23. What
doesn't belong in the apparatus? 24. Choice of manuscript
designations -- 25. Other abbreviations and symbols in the
apparatus -- 26. Typographical considerations -- II.4. The indices
-- 27. Generalities -- 28. The list of proper names -- 29. The list
of quotations -- 30. Word index, subject index, grammatical index
-- 31. Final remarks.
2. There are a number of good introductions in encyclopedias and
the like: Encyclopedia Britannica (also available on line), The
Oxford Classical Dictionary, etc. Each professional group is likely
to have its manuals, such as the MLA's An Introduction to
Bibliographical and Textual Studies, by William Proctor Williams
and Craig S. Abbott (NY: MLA, 1999; good to read through), Fredson
Bower's "Textual Criticism" in The Aims and Methods of Scholarship
in Modern Languages and Literatures, ed. James Thorpe (NY: MLA,
1963), 23-42, G. Thomas Tanselle's "Textual Scholarship," in
Introduction to Scholarship in Modern Languages and Literatures,
ed. Joseph Gibaldi (NY: MLA, 1981), 29-52, D. C. Greetham's
"Textual Scholarship," in the 2d ed. of the MLA Introduction to
Scholarship (NY: MLA, 1991), 103-37. The Center for Scholarly
Editions. An Introductory Statement (MLA, April, 1977), has a good
and scannable bibliography. An excellent introduction (advanced) is
offered by the pertinent sections (under "Sciences auxiliaires
traditionelles. Temoignages ecrits") in L'histoire et ses methodes,
ed. Charles Samaran. Encyclopedie de la Pleiade (Paris: Gallimard,
1961), 449-767. Note that, as usual, the table of contents in the
back offers a good outline.
3. Each series and/or general editor is likely to have a particular
modus operandi; write to them. It is not bad to collect all of
these you can, usually known as "Guide for Authors (of Editions)."
For example: Chicago Guide to Preparing Electronic Manuscripts. For
Authors and Publishers (U Chicago Press, 1987). For a general guide
to symbols to use in your edition of a manuscript, the best is
still J. Bidez and A. B. Drachman, Emploi de signes critiques, 2d
ed. (Paris: Champion, 1938). See also for a quick overview: F.
Masai, "Principes et conventions de l'edition diplomatique,"
Scriptorium 4 (1950), 177-193. For examples of the use of
proofreaders' marks for your own manuscript, see The Chicago Manual
of Style, 14th ed. (U Chicago Press, 1993), 3.19-3.39.
4. Each tradition may have its peculiarities. For anglophones,
the MLA guides above. For other languages, there is a collection
in D. C. Greetham, Scholarly Editing: A Guide to Research (NY: MLA,
1955). As the editors of TEXT admit in the 12th vol., we have had
a tendency in this country to lean to the anglophone (they promise
to rectify this in their journal). For French: On Editing Old
French Texts, by Alfred Foulet and Mary Blakely Speer (Lawrence:
Regents Press of Kansas, 1979). Italian, Franca Brambilla Ageno,
L'edizione critica dei testi volgari, Medioevo e Umanesimo, 22. 2d
ed. (Padua: Antenore, 1984); Gianfranco Contini, Breviatio di
ecdotica (Turin: Einaudi, 1990). Spanish: Alberto Blecua, Manual de
critica textual (Madrid: Castalia, 1990). For Middle English,
Charles Moorman, Editing the Middle English Manuscript (Jackson:
University Press of Mississippi, 1975); a little less elementary:
Tim William Machan, Textual Criticism and Middle English Texts
(Charlottesville: UVirginia Press, 1994), good bibliography. Volume
13 of TEXT will have an article on editing Old English. For
German, my favorite is Joachim Kirchner, Germanistische
Handschriftenpraxis (Munich: Beck, 1950), somewhat dense, but
practical; you might prefer Editionsphilologie, ed. Herbert Kraft
(Darmstadt: Wissenschaftliche Buchgesellschaft, 1990).
5. Bibliography. We do not have a good bibliography for editing.
Many of the works cited above will have bibliographies. For mostly
anglophone works, see: D. C. Greetham, Textual Scholarship. An
Introduction (NY: Garland, 1992), 412-503; pay particular attention
to the starred items. There are good periodical bibliographies in
Studies in Bibliography (also online) and in Scriptorium (see
WEMSK19), and, of course, in L'annee philologique (available on CD-
6. Journals and periodical bib.
Studies in Bibliography (also online). 1948/49-
TEXT. Transactions of the Society for Textual Scholarship (also
partly online). 1984-.
Scriptorium. Revue international des etudes relatives aux
manuscrits, 1946-. With periodical bibliography of codicology.
Editio. Internationales Jahrbuch fuer Editionswissenschaft. 1987-
Manuscripta. Manuscript research and short text editions.
Manuscripts (also online). Published by the Manuscript Society.
Archiv fuer Diplomatik, Schriftgeschichte, Siegel- und Wappenkunde.
Archiv fuer Geschichte des Buchwesens.
Papers of the Bibliographical Society of America. 1906-.
CCH Working Papers. On computer-assisted research in textual
Analytical and Enumerative Bibliography. Bibliography, textual
history, publishing history.
TTR: Traduction, Terminologie, Redaction: Etudes sur le Texte et
Incipit. Articles on textual criticism of Spanish literary texts.
Research in Text Theory. Untersuchungen zur Texttheorie.
7. Robert D. Peckham of the Globe-Gate Project, University of
Tennessee-Martin has put together an excellent set of links:
"Paleography, Codicology, MSS," best consulted in the Archives of
8. There are a number of collections of articles which may be of
use (again, only a few):
a. Christopher Kleinhenz, ed. Medieval Manuscripts and Textual
Criticism. North Carolina Studies in the Romance and Languages and
Literatures, Symposia IV. (Chapel Hill: Department of Romance
Languages. University of North Carolina, 1976). Includes: Diringer,
D. The book of the Middle Ages.--Carroll, C. W. Medieval romance
paleography.--Stones, A. Secular manuscript illumination in France.
-Whitehead, F. and Pickford, C. E. The introduction to the Lai de
l'ombre: half a century later.--Segre, C. The problem of
contamination in prose texts.--Frank, I. The art of editing lyric
texts.--Vinaver, P. Principles of textual emendation.--Castellani,
A. Transcription errors. --Rossini, E. Introduction to the edition
of medieval vernacular documents (XIII and XIV centuries).--Kane,
G. Conjectural emendation. --Roncaglia, A. The value of
interpretation in textual criticism.--Reid, T. B. W. On the text of
the Tristran of Biroul.--Kleinhenz, C. The nature of an edition.
b. D. C. Greetham, The Margins of the Text (Ann Arbor: UMichigan
Press, 1997). Contents: Introduction: out of the text and into the
margins ; The resistance to philology / D.C. Greetham -- What's
class got to do with it? / Gerald MacLean -- Editing "minority"
texts / William L. Andrews -- Whose room of Orlando's own? : the
politics of adaption / Brenda R. Silver -- Feminist theory and
the editing of Shakespeare : The taming of the shrew revisited /
Ann Thompson -- Under the covers with Caliban / Jonathan Goldberg
-- Adaptation as edition / Jonathan Bate and Sonia Massai --
"Opening titles miscreate" : some observatons on the titling of
Shakespeare's "works" / Thomas L. Berger -- Questions of
entitlement : some eighteenth-century title pages / James McLaverty
-- The cosmopolitics of reading : navigating the margins of John
Dee's General and rare memorials / William W.E. Slights -- "Like a
lookling-glas in the frame" : from the marginal note to the
footnote / Evelyn B. Tribble -- Glossing the flesh: scopophilia and
the margins of the medieval book / Michael Camille --Communication,
semiotic continuity, and the margins of the Peircean text / Mary
Keeler and Christian Kloessel -- Commentary upon comentary upon
commentary : three historicisms annotating Richard Hooker / W.
c. Art and Error: Modern Textual Editing, essays compled and edited
by Ronald Gottesman and Scott Bennett (Bloomington: Indiana
University Press, 1970). Contents: The application of thought to
textual criticism, by A. E. Housman.--The rationale of copy-text,
by W. W. Greg.--Editorial problems: a preliminary survey, by R. C.
Bald.--Some principles for scholarly editions for
nineteenth-century American authors, by F. Bowers.--The aesthetics
of textual criticism, by J. Thorpe.--A textual paradox: Rochester's
To a lady in a letter, by D. M. Veith. --Editing the letters of
letter-writers, by R. Halsband.--Establishing a text: the Emily
Dickinson papers, by T. H. Johnson.--Editing a nineteenth-century
novelist, by J. Butt.--Samuel Clemens and his English publishers:
biographical and editorial problems, by D. Welland.--Some textual
problems in Yeats, by R. K. Alspach.--Back to Methusela: textual
problems in Shaw, by H. M. Geduld.--Notes on the textual history of
The sound and the fury, by J. B. Meriwether.--Computor aids to
editing the text of Dryden, by V. A. Dearing. --The ordered
computor collation of unprepared literary text, by W. M. Gibson and
G. R. Petty, Jr.--Further readings (p. 301-306).
d. Texte und Textkritik: eine Aufsatzsammlung, ed. Juergen Dummer
et al. (Berlin: Akademie Verlag, 1987).
e. Crux and Controversy in Middle English Textual Criticism, ed. A.
J. Minnis and Charlotte Brewer (Rochester, NY: Brewer, 1992).
f. Structure and Meaning in Old Norse Literature: New Approaches to
Textual Analysis and Literary Criticism, ed. John Lindow et al.
(Odense: Odense U. Press, 1986).
g. Probleme altgermanischer Editionen, ed. Hugo Kuhn, Karl
Stackmann, Dieter Wuttke. Forschungsberichte 13. Deutsche
Forschungsgemeinschaft (Wiesbaden: Steiner, 1968).
h. Probleme Mittelalterlicher Ueberlieferung und Textkritik.
Oxforder Colloquium 1966, ed. Peter F. Ganz and Werner Schroeder
(Berlin: Erich Schmidt, 1968).
9. Besides these, journals may also have special issues devoted to
editing techniques, for example:
a. Romance Philology 45, no. 1 (1991). Special issue on editing.
b. L'Esprit createur 27.1 (1987), "The Poetics of Textual
Criticism: The Old French Example."
10. There are many other developments in editing which one needs to
keep up with. It does not have many applications in medieval
studies, but there is a considerable activity in "genetic editing",
that is in the prenatal history of the work of art. Hypertext is
just in its infancy, and things like interactive hypermedia have
not even started, but it is obvious that they will have great
applications for us. For the moment, read George P. Landow,
Hypertext 2.0 (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins, 1997). You can kind of
keep up with developments by looking at the SIGWEB Newsletter: The
Newsletter of ACM's Special Interest Group on Hypertext and
Hypermedia: http://www.acm.org/sigweb/newsletter.html. Corpus
linguistics and textlinguistics have much promise, but have not yet
delivered. See WEMSK20 on Codicology. We will have a section on the
use of computers in medieval studies later.
11. It is good to look at the collected papers of the grand old men
in the field where they exist (here are three):
a. Ludwig Traube, Vorlesungen und Abhandlungen, ed. Franz Boll, 3
vols. (Munich: Beck, 1909-20).
b. Ernest Cadman Colwell, Studies in Methodology in Textual
Criticism of the New Testament (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1969).
c. E. A. Lowe, Paleographical Papers, 1907-65, 2 vols. (Oxford:
I was asked to give the TOC of Scholarly Editing, A Guide to
Research, ed. D. C. Greetham (NY: MLA, 1995), mentioned in WEMSK18. Here it
is; you can see that its coverage is broad:
Introduction, D. C. Greetham -- The Varieties of Scholarly Editing,
G. Thomas Tanselle -- The Hebrew Bible (Old Testament), Francis I.
Andersen -- The Greek New Testament, Bruce M. Metzger -- Greek
Literature: Antiquity to the Renaissance, Mervin R. Dilts --
Classical Latin Literature, R. J. Tarrant -- OId English
Literature, J. R. Hall -- Middle English Literature, A. S. G.
Edwards -- English Renaissance: Nondramatic Literature, W. Speed Hill --
English Renaissance: Non-Shakespearean Drama, T. H. Howard-Hill --
Shakespeare, Paul Werstine -- Eighteenth-Century
English Literature, John H. Middendorf -- Nineteenth-Century
British Poetry and Prose, Donald H. Reiman -- Nineteenth-Century
British Fiction, Peter L. Shillingsburg -- Colonial and
Nineteenth-Century American Literature, Joel Myerson --
Twentieth-Century American and British Literature, James L. W. West -- Old
French Literature, Mary B. Speer -- Early Modern French
Literature, Edmund Campion -- Italian Literature, Paolo Cherchi --
Medieval Spanish Literature, Alberto Blecua and German Orduna --
German Literature, Bodo Plachta -- Russian Literature, Edward
Kasinec and Robert Whittaker -- Arabic Literature, M. G. Carter --
Sanskrit Literature, Ludo Rocher -- Folk Literature, John Miles
Larry Swain wrote:
Another essay, or rather group of essays, by Helmut Gneuss that I didn't
see mentioned in the WEMSK 18 is " Guide to Editing and Preparation of
Texts for the Dictionary of Old English" which is far more a guide to
the editing of texts than merely a preparation for the DOE. This essay
appears in The Editing of Old English: Papers from the 1990 Manchester
Conference, D. S. Brewer, 1994, ed. D. G. Scragg and Paul E. Szarmach.