The British Library has made available online its entire collection of medieval manuscripts related to Geoffrey Chaucer. Users can now freely access over 60 items, which include many versions of The Canterbury Tales.
The digitization project, which was released in time to commemorate the 623rd anniversary of Chaucer’s death, was funded by The Gladys Krieble Delmas Foundation, the Peck Stacpoole Foundation, and the American Trust for the British Library. It includes entire manuscripts, fragments of Chaucer’s works found in anthologies, and printed versions. For example, you can see four different versions of William Caxton’s printed editions of The Canterbury Tales.
On the Medieval manuscripts blog, they British Library digitization team writes, “Whether you are experienced scholars of Chaucer’s life and poetry, who know his words off by heart, or only just learning of his collected works for the first time, we hope you enjoy exploring the pages of these digitised manuscripts and engaging with the writing of one of the foundational figures in the history of English literature.”
Top Image: British Library Harley MS 1758 fol. 1r