A Digital Catalogue of the pre-1500 Manuscripts and Incunables of the Canterbury Tales
Daniel W. Mosser
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Full descriptions of all 84 surviving manuscripts, and of individual copies of the four pre-1500 print editions of the Tales, with over 400 images, articles and search facilities

This CD-ROM contains Dan Mosser's descriptions of every surviving pre-1500 manuscript of the Canterbury Tales, and of individual copies of the four incunable editions. This catalogue is based on inspection of every manuscript, of all relatively complete print editions, and many of the fragmentary (single-leaf) print copies. Every manuscript description is accompanied by images of the manuscript, many as high-resolution digital photographs freshly taken for this catalogue. Each description gives a full account of the manuscript's contents, hands, language, copying progress and provenance. For paper copies, every watermark is identified and most are dated, many with images. Accompanying articles discuss lost manuscripts and individual scribes (notably Adam Pynkhurst, perhaps Chaucer's "Adam scriveyn").


  • Full, highly-detailed description of the 84 extant manuscripts and of the pre-1500 print copies of the Tales
  • Detailed discussion of the contents, hands, language, provenance and copying of each manuscript
  • Based on new examination of all manuscripts and most print copies


  • High-resolution digital images, most in colour, accompanying every manuscript description
  • An invaluable teaching tool for palaeographers, codicologists and textual critics
  • Zoomify software allows easy magnification and movement around the images


  • Every watermark identified and most dated
  • Links to online archives for many watermarks
  • Images of many watermarks

Searching and navigation

  • Go direct to every manuscript description from drop-down menu
  • Search the complete text by word and phrase
  • View hits in 'key word in context' display, linked to the full text with highlighted hits


  • Article on now-lost manuscripts
  • Detailed articles on several individual scribes, including Adam Pynkhurst
  • All descriptions printable

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