Editorial policy

The Latin texts currently appearing on this website fall into three categories.

1. Newly transcribed and edited texts which include editorial apparatus and annotation. These are the forms of the text of OCO, OCR, and the two sections of Additions to OCR, as they are presented as documents in pdf format. (In due course NCC and NCS will also be presented in this form.)

2. Newly transcribed and edited texts presented with the minimum of editorial apparatus or annotation. These are the forms of the text of the four manuscript sources (OCO, OCR, NCC and NCS) as they appear in the comparative database. This is, for the interim, the way in which NCC and NCS are currently presented as documents in pdf format.

3. Frere’s texts reproduced from the two forms of the Customary edited by W. H. Frere, The Use of Sarum I (Cambridge, 1898). These are working texts intended only for reference. They omit Frere’s editorial apparatus and annotations. They appear in this form in both the comparative database and as documents in pdf format.


1. Newly transcribed and edited Latin texts in pdf format


Original spelling in the source is retained insofar as possible.
Contractions are expanded without note, excepting only numerals.
Spelling mistakes and similar textual problems (such as scribal inconsistencies) are corrected and standardised tacitly where the correct reading is indisputable; an editorial intervention is made with round brackets in problematic cases, or to clarify a medieval spelling whose meaning is not immediately obvious. Uncommon words are usually unchanged.
u/v distinction: modernised.
i/j distinction: not retained (lower case j is not used, except in Roman numerals, but capitals are modernised).
c/t distinction: retained insofar as possible.
Special cases: xpistus is rendered christus; ewangelium is rendered evvangelium.


Punctuation is retained insofar as possible. So: punctus becomes full stop, punctus elevatus becomes colon. It is only very occasionally added or removed editorially where absolutely necessary (e.g. at the end of paragraphs). N.B. The dots surrounding Roman numerals are retained; dots that indicate abbreviation or that immediately precede the incipit of a liturgical text are included or removed by editorial discretion.

Capital letters: editorial, but usually following the source. Exceptions: initial letters of names, feasts & names of days [e.g. prima Dominica Adventus; vigilia Pentecostes; festum sancti Augustini, Annuntiatione Dominica, festum sancte Crucis, Johannis ante portam Latinam, festum Omnium Sanctorum] and incipits, are capitalised uniformly; the customary diminuendo at the beginning of paragraphs has been removed.
Large capital letters that are not placed at the start of editorial sections are indicated by a new paragraph.

Other editorial conventions

CAPITALS are used for rubrics (and underlined passages).
Italic text is used for incipits of chants etc.
(Editorial additions and notes) are enclosed in round brackets.
<Damaged or (lost)> text is enclosed in angle brackets (and in round brackets if supplied editorially).
[Deletions and erasures] are enclosed in square brackets.
Illegible letters are indicated by dots (....) (approximately as many as the number of missing letters). An ellipsis (…) is used to indicate a large or unknown number of illegible letters.
\Insertions/ are thus indicated, and written immediately after erasures (without an intervening space) if superimposed. Editorial comment is made where the addition (if not trivial) appears to belong to a different hand.

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2. Newly transcribed and edited Latin texts in the comparative database

These texts follow the broad principles outlined in 1 above, especially in relation to spelling and punctuation. However, most of the editorial apparatus and annotation (e.g. brackets) are omitted. This is intended to allow easy comparison of the four manuscripts sources either as Latin texts or in translation.

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3. Frere’s texts

Frere used OCR and NCC for his two principal texts of the Old and New Customary (Consuetudinary and Customary), but significantly re-ordered NCC in presenting the two texts in parallel. He then reconciled and conflated these texts with other extant sources. His edition records his editorial processes in detail (though note should be taken of the corrigenda at the beginning of the volume). Here Frere’s two texts can be read as ‘clean texts’ omitting all the brackets and annotations. Their prime functions in this context are (a) to allow comparison with the readings of the four manuscript sources, and (b) to allow those who use The Use of Sarum I to read the texts in English translation. They appear both in the comparative database and as documents in pdf format.

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