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Catalogue of English Literary Manuscripts

Research output: Non-textual formData set/Database

Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationLondon
PublisherInstitute of English Studies, School of Advanced Study - University of London
PublishedDec 2013

King's Authors


Catalogue of English Literary Manuscripts 1450-1700 (CELM) will be a freely accessible on-line record of surviving manuscript sources for over 200 major British authors of the period 1450-1700. It will incorporate descriptions of many thousands of manuscript texts of poems, plays, discourses, translations, etc., as well as notebooks, annotated printed books, corrected proofs, promptbooks, letters, documents and other related manuscript materials, many hitherto unrecorded, found in several hundred public and private collections world-wide. It will provide a new and productive research tool not only for those interested in particular authors and works, but for anyone interested in the literary culture of the early modern period, in manuscript production and dissemination as a social phenomenon, and in the history of literacy and readership.
This Project will not only create an integrated resource within defined parameters, but will establish the basis for massive future development and for research by others. Innumerable further authors and texts may eventually be incorporated, so that CELM will effectively develop into a manuscript STC . This searchable resource will make available a wealth of relevant detail so that wider interdisciplinary aspects and historical contexts of manuscript texts may be explored. These include social, literary and editorial questions raised by issues of authorship, genre, patronage, censorship, gender, locality of production, distribution, and the relationship of manuscript culture to print culture.
CELM will supersede Dr Beal's ground-breaking printed Index of English Literary Manuscripts (4 vols, 1980-93). Given the increased attention to writing by women in this period, so much of it embodied in manuscripts, the 72 or more additional early modern authors represented in CELM will include 60 female authors. With the extensive revisions to the coverage of the original authors, these inclusions will augment the Index 's depth, scope, usefulness and potential and provide the basis for a major new expansion of our knowledge of early modern manuscript culture.

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