About the Project
The corpus contains transcriptions of 54 manuscripts containing some 2.8 million words of text representing some 98,000 unique items. There are 140 individual texts represented.
The materials were transcribed and encoded by D. Mark Smith and Diana Luft.
The transcriptions and the website were edited by Peter Wynn Thomas and Diana Luft.
The website and search facilities were designed and implemented by Chris Veness, Movable Type, Cambridge.
Copyright and referring to the contents of the website
All material on this website is protected by copyright and other intellectual property rights. Duplication of all or any part of the website or data is not permitted except that data may be duplicated for non-commercial research and educational purposes in print form. Permission must be obtained for any other use.
If you wish to use the information on this website in publications, please quote the following reference:
- Luft, Diana, Peter Wynn Thomas and D. Mark Smith. eds. 2013. Rhyddiaith Gymraeg 1300-1425.
If you have any queries about using the materials on the website please contact the School of Welsh at firstname.lastname@example.org.
How to use these transcriptions
The source for the transcriptions presented on this site is a set of XML documents. The XML encoding describes many of the visual features of the documents, as well as allowing for some editorial interventions. The XML is processed into HTML presenting as faithful a representation of the manuscripts as is possible.
To illustrate how the source documents appear, you can view the XML from NLW MS. Peniarth 47i.
Note that the presentation of the manuscript texts uses CSS embedded web fonts which enable the display of special characters such as the Middle-Welsh V ‘ỽ’, and Middle-Welsh Ll ‘ỻ’. This requires the following browser versions to display correctly: Internet Explorer 7.0+; Firefox 3.5+; Opera 10.0+; Safari 3.1+; Chrome 4+.
The text of the manuscript is presented in black Linux Biolinum. Material in blue (for the 1300-1350 manuscripts) or olive (for the 1350-1425 manuscripts) indicates editorial interventions. The difference in colour serves as a constant visual reminder of the differences in encoding between the two groups of transcriptions. These differences are set out below.
Text and initials in red and green ink in the manuscripts appear in red and green ink in the transcriptions. Rubricated text appears with a red shadow. Note: Rubrication is not included in the 1300-1350 transcriptions.
The ‘middle-welsh v’ character and the ligatured double ‘middle welsh ll’ are represented by their Unicode equivalents. These characters were put forward by the Welsh Prose team for consideration in the Medieval Unicode Font Initiative (MUFI) proposal to include a number of medieval characters in the Unicode standard. The proposal (N3027) was submitted for review in January 2006, and the characters were approved for inclusion in Unicode 5.1 released in April 2008. They occupy code points U+1EFA (Latin Capital Letter Middle-Welsh LL), U+1EFB (Latin Small Letter Middle-Welsh LL) , U+1EFC (Latin Capital Letter Middle-Welsh V) and U+1EFD (Latin Small Letter Middle Welsh V) in the Latin Extended Additional character set. For the MUFI proposal see http://www.mufi.info/proposals/
Large initial letters and semi-caps are represented as such in the transcriptions, and initials extending over more than one line are represented by drop capitals, thus maintaining the integrity of the page.
The transcriptions follow the word division of the original manuscripts. Words that appear in the manuscripts as single items but which are to be considered separate items for the purposes of the wordlist and the search functions are separated by a vertical line in blue (for the 1300-1350 manuscripts) or olive (for the 1350-1425 manuscripts). Words that appear in the manuscripts as separate items but which are to be considered as single items for the purposes of the wordlist and the search functions are joined by a dot in blue (for the 1300-1350 manuscripts) or olive (for the 1350-1425 manuscripts). Words that begin on one line and end on another are indicated by a blue or olive + at the end of the first part of the word.
The punctuation of the original manuscripts has been followed. A full stop in the transcription indicates a punctus in the manuscript, while a semi-colon in the transcription indicates a punctus elevatus in the manuscript.
All abbreviations are expanded in the transcriptions. Expanded abbreviations are presented in italics in blue (for the 1300-1350 manuscripts) or olive (for the 1350-1425 manuscripts).
Scribal additions are presented in a smaller font, with a rollover option indicating the location of the addition on the page. Additions above the line of text appear above the line; additions below the line of text appear below the line. In the case of marginal additions, the added text appears where it should in the text regardless of its position on the page.
Deleted text is presented as text with a line through it, with a rollover option giving the type of deletion actually present, e.g. a line through the text, erased text, dots above the text, dots above and below the text, dots below the text with a line through it, etc. Text that has been deleted by subpunction appears with dots below and a rollover option indicating the deletion.
Unclear text is indicated in grey, with a rollover option giving the reason for the lack of clarity, i.e. the text has become faded, has been retraced, or corrected.
Areas of text which are illegible in the manuscript are represented by grey boxes
in the transcription.
Note: All missing text, whether due to damage or illegibility, is marked as illegible in the 1300-1350 transcriptions and thus appears as a grey box in the transcription.
Damage to the Manuscript
Damage to the manuscript is presented as an empty box with a rollover option giving the type of damage, i.e. there is a naturally occurring hole in the page, there is damage to the page, or the page has been cropped. Note: All missing text, whether due to damage or illegibility, is marked as illegible in the 1300-1350 transcriptions and thus appears as a gap in the manuscript.
Gaps in the Manuscript
Gaps in the manuscript indicating where the text has become illegible are presented by grey boxes. Note: All missing text, whether due to damage or illegibility, is marked as illegible in the 1300-1350 transcriptions and thus appears as a gap in the manuscript.
Space in the Manuscript
Empty spaces left in the manuscript appear as empty spaces in the transcriptions.
In some cases text has been supplied by the editorial team where the original text has been lost due to damage or fading. The purpose of this supplied text is to indicate the extent of the affected area as much as to indicate the contents of the lost text. Text has only been supplied from printed editions, and only where reliable editions of the affected text are available. Supplied text appears in olive Courier typeface with a rollover option giving the reason for the intervention, i.e. the original text is damaged or illegible. The origin of the supplied text is noted in the TEI header.Note: Text has not been supplied in the 1300-1350 transcriptions. All missing text for these transcriptions appears as a gap in the manuscript.
In some cases the editors have suggested readings for text that seems to be corrupt, or where the idiosyncrasies of the orthography make understanding difficult. In these cases, the word is followed by an asterisk * in blue (for the 1300-1350 manuscripts) or olive (for the 1350-1425 manuscripts), with a rollover option giving the suggested reading. In some cases no alternative reading is suggested, for example, when a word or letter is simply repeated, or when there seems to be an unexpected mutation or lack thereof. It should be noted that the purpose of these interventions is not to correct the scribe or to suggest that the original reading is incorrect in any way, but rather to ensure the user that the unexpected reading is indeed what appears in the manuscript.
Scribes often inserted paragraph marks to indicate where the text from a previous line is continued at the end of next line rather than following on at the beginning of it. These are indicated in the transcriptions by a square bracket [.
Scribes often used insertion marks to indicate where an addition should be placed in the text. These are represented in the transcriptions by a caret ^.
Scribes often used decorative fillers to fill the space at the ends of lines. These fillers appear in the transcriptions as a tilde ~ with a rollover option giving a brief if subjective description of the type of filler used. Note: Descriptions of fillers are not included in the 1300-1350 transcriptions.
During 1999 and 2000 the Welsh prose manuscripts from the thirteenth century (1250-1300) were transcribed by Graham Isaac and Simon Rodway. The fruits of that pilot study were published in 2002 on the CD-ROM Rhyddiaith Gymraeg o Lawysgrifau’r 13eg Ganrif. This material is now available on-line.
In September 2000 Dr D. Mark Smith was appointed Research Assistant and he subsequently spent three years extending the work to the fourteenth century, transcribing the prose in manuscripts dating from 1300-1350. This stage of the project was funded by the University of Wales Board of Celtic Studies and the School of Welsh, Cardiff University.
In 2004 Peter Wynn Thomas received a research grant from the AHRC to lead a project to transcribe the Welsh prose manuscripts from 1350-1425 and to encode them in XML for release on the web. Dr D. Mark Smith and Diana Luft were appointed as Researchers on this project, and undertook the task of transcribing the texts, which were later edited by Peter Wynn Thomas. The initial transcriptions were produced as text files, using a system of shortcuts to indicate the XML encoding which would follow. These shortcuts were converted to XML encoding using a programme developed by Dave Kirtland, an undergraduate student at the Cardiff School of Computing, and later modified by Ewen Orme. We are most grateful to Professor Omer Rana, who oversaw Dave’s project, for his interest and support. Digital images of the Shrewsbury manuscript were produced by Mark Barrett and Alun Jenkins. The initial encoding system was developed in consultation with Mick van Rootseler. Turning the codes into an operational and visual reality was undertaken by Malcolm Macleod and the website further developed by Chris Veness, who gave it its final public face. Lee Paton was responsible for mounting the website on the Cardiff University server, as well as ongoing technical support.
The website was released in December 2007, and has received a great deal of use since then. Following the release of the website, consultation with user groups indicated a number of ways in which the resource could be enhanced. In 2010 a project was undertaken funded by the School of Welsh, Cardiff University and under the leadership of Professor Sioned Davies to expand the website through adding the materials from 1300-1350 that were originally transcribed between 2000 and 2004, and through improving the search functions. Diana Luft was responsible for encoding the 1300-1350 material, and Chris Veness improved the search functions, word list, and visual presentation of the material. The new resource, Welsh Prose 1300-1425, was released [??].
We are grateful to the following colleagues for allowing us to benefit from their expertise as we got to grips with various aspects of the project. It is a pleasure to record our thanks.
The Steering Committee
From the outset, the project was overseen by a steering committee which was established by the Language and Literature Committee of the Board of Celtic Studies. It included Gareth Bevan, Patrick Donovan, Andrew Hawke, Daniel Huws and Morfudd E. Owen as well as the following representatives of the Schools and Departments of Welsh:
- Aberystwyth: Gruffydd Aled Williams and Patrick Sims-Williams (Chairman)
- Bangor: Branwen Jarvis and Peredur Lynch
- Cardiff: Sioned Davies and Peter Wynn Thomas
- Swansea: Christine James and Dafydd Johnston
- Gwenno Angharad Elias: Peniarth 164
- Jane Cartwright: The Llanstephan 27 Buchedd Martha and Buchedd Meir Vadlen
Copies and images of manuscripts
- Alun Jenkins, Cardiff University Library
- Gruffydd Lewis, School of Welsh, Cardiff University
- Jeremy Goulding, Headmaster, Shrewsbury School
- Lyn Lewis Dafis, National Library of Wales
- Mark Barrett, Graphic Services, Cardiff University
- Peter Keelan, Keeper of Special COLlections and ARchives, Cardiff University
Website design and development
- Chris Veness, Movable Type, Cambridge
- David Kirtland, Cardiff University School of Computing Science
- David Willis, Cambridge University
- Ewen Orme, Cardiff University School of Computing Science
- James Cummings, Oxford Text Archive, Oxford
- Lee Paton, INSRV, Cardiff University
- Malcolm Macleod, Tshwanedge, Tshwane, South Africa
- Mick van Rootseler, Arnhem, The Netherlands
- Omer Rana, Cardiff University School of Computing Science
- Prosiect Datblygiad yr Iaith
- Professor Catherine McKenna
- Jessica Hemming
- Kasi Conley, Deborah Gann, and Aled Llion Jones of the Harvard University Department of Celtic Languages and Literatures
Other electronic editions of Welsh texts:
- Rhyddiaith Gymraeg o Lawysgrifau’r 13eg Ganrif
- Historical Corpus of the Welsh Language, 1500-1850
- Dafydd ap Gwilym.net
- Arts and Humanities Data Service
- Digital Medievalist
- Early Manuscripts at Oxford University
- Geiradur Prifysgol Cymru
- Irish Script On Screen
- Medieval Unicode Font Initiative
- Medieval Nordic Text Archive
- National Library of Wales Digital Mirror
- Oxford Text Archive
- Text Encoding Initiative
The website’s logo
We are indebted to the scribe of the Black Book of Carmarthen for the logo. Although he wrote poetry in his manuscript, we could not resist the appeal of his artwork.