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An electronic corpus of Welsh medieval prose

Medieval Welsh prose survives in some eighty manuscripts produced between 1250 and 1450. The corpus contains law texts, historical, religious, medical and grammatical works, narrative tales translated from Latin and French and, of course, the tales of the Mabinogion. This project aims to transcribe material from the period c.1300-1450 and to present it to the world on a searchable CD-ROM.

Transcribing began in 1999. Between then and the end of May 2004 the work was funded by the Academic Support Fund of the University of Wales and the Board of Celtic Studies, and was overseen by a working party including staff from the Departments of Welsh of the Federal University of Wales, the University of Wales Dictionary, and the National Library of Wales, chaired by Professor Patrick Sims-Williams. Material from the thirteenth century, transcribed by Graham Isaac and Simon Rodway, was published in 2002 on the CD-ROM 'Rhyddiaith Gymraeg o Lawysgrifau’r 13eg Ganrif'.

In 2000 Dr D. Mark Smith was appointed researcher and the project moved from Aberystwyth to Cardiff.

Until 2002 the aim was to produce no more than transcriptions. However, in 2003 the project’s horizons were broadened with the appointment of Mick van Rootseler, a specialist in Information Technology, to develop a suitable model for tagging the texts according to internationally approved standards and representing them in a more sophisticated format. This work is co-ordinated by Professor Peter Wynn Thomas and will result in a second CD-ROM which will include the texts up to 1350.