The Verbum Project at the Institute for Textual Scholarship and Electronic Editing


Vetus Latina Iohannes, also known as the Verbum Project, is an online, electronic critical edition of the Old Latin Gospel of John from the manuscripts (Patristic citations are not included at this point); it is one of the earliest online DH projects within early Christian studies, founded in 2002.  The Verbum Project is housed at the University of Birmingham’s Institute for Textual Scholarship and Electronic Editing, under the direction of David Parker.  Each of the manuscript witnesses is described, including previous editions and reproductions consulted, as well as notes on the features recorded in the Verbum Project’s transcription.  The edition, which is powered by Peter Robinson’s COLLATE software, can be viewed as a synopsis of all manuscript witnesses for a particular verse, or as continuous text from a given manuscript (and optionally, according to page format, which includes features such indentation, justified texts, the obeloi and other marks).

Of course, the optimal way to view page format is to include digital images of the manuscript next to the transcription; this is indeed offered for several important witnesses, such as Codex Veronensis, a luxurious purple-parchment text that E.A. Lowe dated to the fifth century.  The conventions of this electronic edition are interesting: in contrast to, for example, EpiDoc- based electronic corpora of inscriptions, most of which are displayed in formats imitating printed editions according to the Leiden conventions, the Verbum Project transcriptions use variations in color and font to record features such as uncertain characters or reconstructed text; text which has been corrected by a later hand is marked in blue, and the corrections themselves are displayed with a click.  One becomes quickly accustomed to these standards, which have a certain visual appeal.

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