|Budget Amount *help
¥2,100,000 (Direct Cost : ¥2,100,000)
Fiscal Year 1998 : ¥600,000 (Direct Cost : ¥600,000)
Fiscal Year 1997 : ¥600,000 (Direct Cost : ¥600,000)
Fiscal Year 1996 : ¥900,000 (Direct Cost : ¥900,000)
In order to establish the corpus of all extant manuscripts Containing Middle English I consulted all manuscript catalogues available to me and for each manuscript I filled in a form which I had specially designed for this project. Concise information about each manuscript has therefore been collected on each form : the institution which owns It, the shelf-mark, the date, the material on which it is written (in other words, paper or parchment), the format, the script, the number of hands, texts in the manuscript (and the language(s) in which they are written), its owners and users in the middle ages and during the early modern period, references and so on, I also conducted research on famous collectors and on the histories of great libraries in Britain, The internet was extremely useful in helping me to gather necessary information from all over the world.
From the research the following conclusion was drawn Manuscripts containing Old English were scatfered and most were lost after the dissolution of the monasteries ; however, some of them were discovered and kept to be studied to justify the policies of the Church and the State, They were eventually donated to great libraries by collectors by the end of the eighteenth century because those were the safest places for valuable manuscripts to be preserved, On the other hand, beautiful Middle English manuscripts were a status-symbol and were treated as part of the family-property among the wealthy gentry and merchants ; therefore they were passed from generation to generation in private collections. Mediocre-looking manuscripts containing Middle English religious texts were originally read by not only women but also men who could not understand Latin in monasteries or were used for education at home. Some of them seem to have been secretly preserved and read by Catholics while they were oppressed.