Posted on 20 May 2010 by Elizabeth Solopova
For the last few weeks I have been working on a new transcription of the text on the Gough Map. My starting point is the edition of the map by E. J. S. Parsons published in 1958 to accompany a facsimile produced at the same time by the Oxford University Press. I am checking Parsons’ text against the original and the 1958 facsimile. Sadly, this work makes clear the extent to which the original deteriorated during its exposure to light in 1960s. In many cases the text is easier to read on the facsimile. This is, however, not always true; the deterioration did not happen evenly, and often I get better results from looking at the manuscript with a magnifying glass. But the facsimile is now beyond doubt a witness in its own right. I am also using excellent digital images provided by the Bodleian conservators, Chris Clarkson and Marinita Stiglitz. I am finding quite a few errors in Parsons. They are mostly to do with the spelling of place names, but some also with the reading of Latin abbreviations. I am making notes about the appearance of the text in the manuscript, and any evidence I can find relating to how the text and images were executed.