Manuscripts of the West Midlands is a catalogue of vernacular manuscript books of the English West Midlands, c. 1300-1475. It provides detailed descriptions and reference images (where possible) of more than 150 manuscripts associated on linguistic grounds with the historic West Midlands counties of Gloucestershire, Herefordshire, Shropshire, Staffordshire, Warwickshire, and Worcestershire. Many of these manuscripts are among the most important surviving books of Middle English. The descriptions are based on published sources, checked and supplemented wherever possible by physical examination of the manuscripts.
The Manuscripts of the West Midlands project has aimed to engage with the dynamics of manuscripts studies, a fast-developing discipline, and to experiment with the potential of computer applications to provide new kinds of research infrastructure. Although completed in the sense that the project has ended, the catalogue is provisional and experimental and amenable for future exploitation and development. It is to be hoped that it will stimulate, and provide a resource for, research of many kinds. The data are of course subject to revision and improvement as our knowledge improves and grows. Scholars with information to add or corrections to suggest are invited to submit them by email to the project director, for accumulation towards possible revised editions. The catalogue could be expanded into additional geographical areas. The data could also be integrated into other databases. Scholars with interests in using the material in these ways are also invited to contact the project director.