During my time working on G, I have incurred many debts. In particular, I wish to thank the Arts and Humanities Research Council for their generous support during the preparation of this edition. I am also especially indebted to the Institute for Advanced Technology in the Humanities (IATH) at the University of Virginia. Since 1992, IATH, funded by the University of Virginia, the IBM Corporation, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the National Science Foundation, has labored to explore and expand the potential of information technology as a tool for humanities research. Without its assistance, much of this edition simply could not have been created.
First and most profound thanks are offered to the computer professionals at IATH. Their technical support for the Archive has been both generous and expert. Special gratitude is due to Daniel Pitti, Project Director of IATH and member of SEENET's Editorial Board, who has worked tirelessly to solve our problems. Thanks are due also to Shayne Brandon, Cynthia Girard, Susan Munson, Robert W. Bingler, and Stephen Ramsay, who have helped us over technical and conceptual hurdles, some of our own creation, with unfailing competence, courtesy, and charity. Joy Shifflette, Program Support Technician at IATH, helped us in innumerable ways. Peter Baker, in permitting us to use and extend his Old English fonts has made it possible for us to display non-standard characters such as yoghs. We are grateful to Gordon Braden, then Chairman of the English Department at the University of Virginia, for his sponsorship of our 2004 and 2005 Workshops in Charlottesville. In providing us with the Elwood Viewer, Eugene W. Lyman has contributed immensely to the work of the Archive, not only in increasing the sophistication of display but also in showing us how to use Elwood in the process of editing.
I am grateful to Dr. Patrick Zutshi, Keeper of Manuscripts and University Archives, Cambridge University Library, and Mr. D. J. Hall, Senior Under-Librarian, at the Cambridge University Library who allowed access to the manuscript and permission to make and publish digital images of the entire manuscript. Staff at all the libraries I have used in the process of editing G (in particular Cambridge University Library, the British Library and Bristol University Library) have been unfailingly helpful.
I wish to thank Drs. John Ivor Carlson and Nancy Renwick Clendenon, then graduate research assistants, who worked in Charlottesville on G. Those competent and energetic young scholars are named on the title page for their part in preparing this text. Very special gratitude is due to now Professors Patricia R. Bart and Timothy L. Stinson who prepared all of the images for display in this edition. Their work and that of the Archive project as a whole has been generously supported by the National Endowment for the Humanities, an independent federal agency. I am particularly grateful to Patricia Bart, in addition, for her unstintingly helpful responses to my ignorant (and, as a result, often repetitive) questions on technical matters. Dug and Gail Duggan have been generous with help, time, hospitality and advice, way, way beyond the call of duty. Thorlac Turville-Petre has patiently saved me from infelicities and errors. Orietta da Rold's advice on paper manuscripts has been invaluable. My colleagues at Bristol, in particular J. A. Burrow, Ad Putter and Myra Stokes, have heard more about this edition than they might perhaps have wished, but none has complained and all have been generous with their expertise.
No one who works with Piers Plowman can fail to be indebted to the labors of Professor George Kane and his collaborators in editing the Athlone Piers Plowman, texts produced to an almost impossibly high standard of transcriptional and collational accuracy. The editors have laid out in their detailed introductions - with an explicitness and transparency unparalleled in editions of Middle English texts - their reasons for hundreds of their editorial decisions. They have played fair with their readers and we are grateful for their achievement and example.
20 June 2011