Early English Text Society

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This is a bibliography page, concerning a work to which reference is made elsewhere in this guide.


The Early English Text Society is a learned society whose purpose is to publish texts that exist only in manuscript or in rare early printed editions, and thus make them available to students. Most of its editions are of works in Middle or Old English. Its editions are all diligently prepared to the highest standards of scholarship, with carefully established texts, meticulously reproduced, and useful and thorough glossaries and notes; they are universally recognized as authoritative versions of sources. The editors, who are not paid, are people of the highest reputation in their field. (The Society was founded by F. J. Furnivall, with help from W. W. Skeat, amongst others - two of the foremost philologists of the time - in 1864 in London.)
Volumes published by the Early English Text Society (often abbreviated in the fields of English Literature and medieval history to EETS) now number over 475. Most are in the Original Series (OS), which is still being added to at the rate of one or two volumes per year. To receive copies of the annual additions is one of the benefits of membership. In 1867, an Extra Series (ES) was started: this was discontinued in 1921. In 1970, an occasional Supplementary Series was begun. New volumes are published on behalf of the Society by the Oxford University Press. The back catalogue of all three is held at Boydell and Brewer, publishers specializing in medieval studies. It may be found online, the original Series at [[1]] ), the Extra Series at [[2]] and the Supplementary Series at [[3]].
The Society itself maintains a website at [[4]]. The Scottish Text Society is a similar body publishing works written in Scots, mostly from before the development of printing.