British Library Treasures in Full: Caxton's Chaucer
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print Caxton in the British Library

The description of the BL copies (PDF format) contains detailed bibliographical descriptions of the two copies of the Canterbury Tales which we have digitised. There you can also find the account of what is known about the history of the two volumes before they came to us. The descriptions have been written by Dr Lotte Hellinga, formerly Deputy Keeper of Printed Books in the British Library, and are drafts for her volume describing all the British Library’s books printed in England during the 15th century.

There is a section on John Harris, a craftsman whose remarkable skills in the wrong hands could have been used for forgery. Around 1850 he ‘re-created’ a few of the original pages which were missing from the Library’s copy of the first edition. This section has been written by Professor Toshiyuki Takamiya from Keio University, Tokyo.

A section describes the process of digitisation and finally there is an introduction to some of the uses of the digital images.

Tell me more:

1. Descriptions of the BL copies (PDF format)
2. John Harris and the facsimile pages
3. The digitisation - Keio University
4. Why compare the copies?

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