Friday, October 24, 2008

Dumbarton Oaks Medieval Library

by J J Cohen

The Dumbarton Oaks Research Library is launching a new series of medieval texts, "The Dumbarton Oaks Medieval Library." Published by Harvard University Press and modeled after the revered Loeb Classical Library, these books will offer works in Byzantine Greek, Medieval Latin, and -- yes! -- Old English, all with facing page translations.

Dan Donoghue is the general editor for the Old English series. The editorial board also includes Rob Fulk, Drew Jones, Andy Orchard, Toni Healey, Elizabeth Tyler, and Katherine O'Brien O'Keeffe. I'm about to head off to the wine reception to celebrate the launch at the little Georgetown mansion that houses the research library... though the books won't be out until 2010, when the first ten titles debut. Still, why not drink to them now?

6 comments:

Matthew Gabriele said...

That rules! Any sense of what they're looking at doing first?

Nic D'Alessio said...

fantastic! We'll now have the LCL, I Tatti, and this new series -- all from Harvard UP. Yippie!

Jeffrey J. Cohen said...

The official announcement comes next month. It will include a list of what texts and in what order. So far all I know is that they will be very much like the Loebs: relatively inexpensive, aimed at a nonspecialist, minimally annotated, not grouped according to manuscript (except Beowulf and friends). Oh, and compound words will be hyphenated. Apparently it took them a while to come to consensus on that, but such a presentation will make following the Old English easier for the lay reader.

What to me is most amazing about the series is that it treats medieval Latin and Old English as languages with equal amounts of cachet. Given that so many non-scholars purchase books in this series, it really does seem to me that it will give the study of OE a significant boost at a time when it needs one.

Peter Konieczny said...

Two of the books being prepared are: The Poetry of Venantius Fortunatus, ed. Michael J. Roberts, and The Rule of Saint Benedict: The Carolingian Recension, ed. Bruce Venarde.

Jeffrey J. Cohen said...

Thanks Peter. Bruce was my teaching partner in History and Lit at Harvard and my family will see him this weekend when he comes to Haskins ... so thanks for giving me something to congratulate him for.

Philipp W. Rosemann said...

Just noticed this older post ... The project of a kind of medieval Loeb has existed for a number of years. It is called "Dallas Medieval Texts and Translations." 11 volumes have been published so far, with about 20 more currently under contract. Check it out at www.udallas.edu/dmtt.