The Global Medieval Sourcebook (GMS) is a free, open access, and open source teaching and research tool. It offers a flexible online display for the parallel viewing of medieval texts in their original language, in new English translations and in their digitized manuscript form.
The GMS spans one thousand years (600-1600) of literary production across the medieval world (Europe, North Africa, the Middle East, and Asia). It contains primarily short texts of broad interdisciplinary interest in a variety of genres, and many of the texts have not previously been translated into English.
Medieval texts are frequently transmitted in multiple manuscript redactions. No two textual witnesses are exactly alike. For this reason, in the GMS, transcriptions of the original texts are based, where possible, on a single manuscript redaction. In some cases, multiple versions are transcribed and translated so that users may see the textual variation that is a common feature in medieval transmission. Transcriptions are presented alongside embedded, manipulable images of the manuscripts so that users have high-quality access to the source. Viewing the manuscript itself is of particular importance because manuscript quality, design, organization, and size are all meaningful categories of textual analysis.
For teachers, the project provides linked (by keyword, genre, language, etc.) groups of medieval texts, which may be assigned as course reading or used in the classroom. For students, the project allows for an immersive engagement in medieval text culture and the possibility to practice translation and transcription skills through the selective display of text and image modules. For researchers, all texts in the compendium are downloadable as TEI-XML files to allow for computational or other analysis.