Professor Malcolm Godden (University of Oxford) has donated to the library of the Richard Rawlinson Center for Anglo-Saxon Studies and Manuscript Research hundreds of pages that comprehensively document the variant medieval manuscript readings of Ælfric of Eynsham's Catholic Homilies. The homilies, probably first written in the 990s, number among Ælfric's earliest works, and he revised the texts over the course of his lifetime. The homilies are arranged in two series of forty homilies each, with each series arranged according to the liturgical year.
The variant readings in the manuscript sources, at least some of which reflect the author's constant revision of the texts, were compiled by Professor Godden, who edited the so-called second series of homilies for the Early English Text Society (published 1979), and the late Professor Peter Clemoes (University of Cambridge), who edited the first series (published 1997). A third EETS volume—comprising an introduction, commentary, and glossary by Professor Godden—was published in 2000. The material donated to the Rawlinson Center provides a wealth of information about the transmission of the texts of the homilies, listing—as they do—many more variants than could be included in the published critical editions.
The pages, which arrived in folders with metal fittings, have been inventoried and eventually will be transferred to acid-free folders. Scholars are invited to consult the material at the center, which is found in Walwood Hall on Western Michigan University's East Campus.
Photograph: A detail of a page listing manuscript variants in Ælfric's Catholic Homilies