Codicological Spreadsheet

This week you should start to think about how to go about cataloguing your folio for the final assignment. Below you can find a template for the kinds of information you should be looking for when examining your folio. Or download a pdf version here.

Folio Description Template

Manuscript Folio Shelfmark, Title.

Place (City, Country) of Origin, date of origin. Languages within.

I. Contents:

  1. Item A (f. 1-xx, Title of item, ever edited?) them

    i. If there are page numbers on the folio, record them, and note if they are in Arabic numerals (1,2, 3) or Roman (I, II, III)

  2. Item B

  3. Item C ….

Add here your conclusions about the content of folio (what part of a manuscript is it from etc.)

II. Physical Description:

  1. Parchment. i. Measurements of size of folio (in cm’s), ii. weight of parchment (thin, medium, think), iii. evidence of trimming or rough edges iv. colour (differences in tone and colour of hair and flesh sides). v. If there is paper, are there watermarks?

  2. Page Layout. i. size of total text space; if text is written in more than one column give the measurements of each column and the space between them (, size of written layout, ii. How many lines of text on a page? How many columns? (e.g. 32 lines x 2 columns) iii. is ruling (borders and line divisions) evident? ruled on both sides/ one side? Ruled in ink or lead (pencil) or just impressed into the parchment? iv. Catchwords? v. folio/ page numbers? where are they located?

  3. Script and Punctuation. i. Description of script. Try to identify the script: whether it is Gothic text or cursive (see for examples of different scripts)

    1. Are there majuscule (upper case) and miniscule (lower case) letters. Or only one.

    2. Are the letters straight up and done or more like this?

    3. do letters touch together, or are they separated.

    4. Do the S’s look like f’s (a “ſ “)

    5. Are some hands neater than others.

      1. Are some parts neater than others of the same hand?

      2. Are some parts smaller than others?

      3. What punctuation is present, if any?

  4. Emendations. i. Note where, what kind of and how many emendations have been made. ii. If someone has added comments (marginal comments/ interlinear comments), or made corrections describe the script. Does it look similar to the script of the main text (i.e. done at the same time) or does it look different (i.e. added later)? iii. Are words erased, crossed out, written over?

  5. Decoration. i. Illuminated initials (gold), historiated initials (letters that contain stories) ii. images iii. rubrication, iv. decorative initials, flourishes, floral designs? v. Marginalia?

  6. Imperfections. Stains, tears, holes, cuts, water damage, wearing away, cropping leading to removal of text, removal of text from binding, pages which

III. Provenance.

  1. Is there a colophon (i.e. does the scribe sign his work)? Has someone identified the scribe elsewhere?

  2. Evidence from ex libris, paleography etc. which indicates ownership. Was the book expensive or cheap? Who was the reader, owner, patron?

  3. Any indications of institutional ownership – like library codes predating Carleton’s ownership?

  4. Does the folio have a description appended to it? Is there a previous library catalogue or bookseller's description which gives information about it?

    • Transcribe any previous descriptions here and any library/inventory codes

IV. Bibliography.

1. are the contents edited in modern critical editions? 2. is the manuscript cited in scholarship? 3. what are useful secondary sources helpful for understanding aspects of the manuscript? 4. are there photographs of the folio online. Provide URL?

V. Photographs.

1. Provide links to the IIIF images for your manuscript folio

VI. Transcription.

After numbering lines and columns of the two sides of the folio, if possible, provide a transcription of the text.