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Winchester - Introduction

The British Library Additional Manuscript 59678, known as 'The Winchester Manuscript', is the earliest surviving version of Le Morte Darthur, copied by two professional scribes sometime between 1470 and 1483.

The digitisation of the Winchester Manuscript was undertaken in 2003 by a team of Japanese experts in a range of fields: a professional photographer, bibliographers and IT specialists, all from the HUMI Project, now part of Digital Archive Research Center, at Keio University. It was led by director Professor Toshiyuki Takamiya and technical director Professor Masaaki Kashimura.

The HUMI (Humanities Media Interface) Project is supported by the Japanese Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology's Open Research Center (ORC) Project. The HUMI Project - HUMI, read as "fumi" (letters), a Japanese word that can mean documents, literature, and history - aims to pursue research in the field of digital bibliography and to construct a research environment for that purpose.

The digital images of the Winchester Manuscript reproduced in this website are copyright © The British Library Board. All rights expressly reserved, and no further reproduction is permitted.

The transcription of the Winchester Manuscript and scholarly commentary toward the manuscript were (and still now are) created under the direction of Dr Takako Kato. For the use of these materials, see How to cite us.

This website is an expandable and scriptable associative environment, designed by Dr Nick Hayward. Currently, the whole of the Winchester Manuscript can be consulted in Facsimile Quick View mode, and part of the manuscript (from the beginning to fol. 96r) in Facsimile Full View, Text, and Facsimile and Text mode. The transcription of the 'Roman War Episode' (fols 71r-96r) is available here, and can be also consulted in A Parallel Edition of the 'Roman War' Episode.

  • More about the Winchester Manuscript - View
  • Textual variants between the Winchester Manuscript and the Caxton - View
  • The textual divisions in the Winchester Manuscript and the Caxton - View
  • More about the 'Roman War Episode' - View
  • Names and Keywords - View