Monday, May 28, 2007

Collating for Dummies

Tony Chartrand-Burke offers a wonderful little booklet, Collating for Dummies, which is a step-by-step guide for collating MSS. (The focus is on apocryphal/patristic texts but many things are useful for collators of NT MSS.) Tony prepared this guide when he was working on his dissertation—an edition of the Infancy Gospel of Thomas—as a PhD student at the Centre for the Study of Religion, University of Toronto. The dissertation "The Infancy Gospel of Thomas: The Text, its Origins, and its Transmission" is available here.


Peter M. Head said...

Despite the useful info and bibliography the one thing this didn't tell me is how to collate a manuscript. Or have I missed something?

Stephen C. Carlson said...

There's a brief description of how to collate on p. 5, in a section entitled "Organizing Your Witnesses."

Peter M. Head said...

thanks Stephen,

I looked again, but the method he outlines in about one sentence, then proceeds to criticise it as having limited utility, being time-consuming, and only applicable for small numbers of mss. And having read his description I agree!

So to all this useful information I would advise students to look at J.H. Greenlee, Introduction to New Testament Textual Criticism (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1964, with reprints), 135-141 which provides some reasons for collating manuscripts, the method of recording a collation (which TCB is lacking), and some comments on the use of collations.

This will at least help people understand how text critics used to operate.

Tommy Wasserman said...


"...this didn't tell me is how to collate a manuscript."

Perhaps not so much on the technical details, although it gives a general overview of broad issues, and a good bibliography as you point out. (And it was "for dummies" not for smart Heads :-))