The two editions are significantly different, and those new to Holinshed may benefit from the discussion of some of those differences elsewhere on this site. Hitherto comparison between the editions has been difficult because of their immense size (2.5 million words in 1577, 3.5 million words in 1587), and the dispersal of copies.
The material for the mounting of both editions has been derived from the Early English Books On-Line Text Creation Partnership transcriptions. The 1577 edition was keyed especially for this project, using the Harvard University Library copy (STC 13568b); the copy of the 1587 text used is located in the Henry E. Huntington Library, San Marino, California (STC 135689).
Both transcriptions had a substantial number of illegible passages: these have been filled manually, using the British Library editions of the texts, and are distinguished by being displayed in grey text.
Both the 1577 and 1587 versions are characterised by a number of inconsistencies between the physical composition of the volumes and their paratextual apparatus. Among the confused and confusing practices of those charged with the physical production of the books are the use of internal title pages, different methodologies of pagination, and multiple pagination sequences, halting or continuing within and across volumes according to no reliable logical pattern. Such inconsistencies have, in their turn, directly affected the two subsequent reproductions of the Chronicles: the 1807 reprint of the 1587 text and the current dual-text, online edition at the Holinshed Project. The relationship between the various systems of referencing and the original volumes are explained in a note by Tim Smith-Laing, research student at Merton College, Oxford. He has also prepared a table of the arrangement of the signatures.
Readers can navigate each of the editions in a number of ways:
Readers can search the editions by typing phrases into the search box
Readers can compare the two versions and view them side by side
Readers can view annotations of the chapters 1-11 of William Harrison's Description of Britain. Clicking on highlighted text will open notes in a new window.
Readers can view the facsimiles of the original pages from the EEBO-Text Creation Partnership, by clicking on the 'EEBO page.image' button
This project was funded by the Oxford University Fell Fund.
We are very grateful to the EEBO-TCP Text Creation Partnership for permission to use their keyed versions of the two editions, and to allow us to provide the links to the underlying images. Our partnership with EEBO-TCP has been assisted by the unstinting support of Shawn Martin and Paul Schaffner.
Olivia Smith was recruited at a late stage to transcribe the illegible passages from the British Library copy.
The comparator tool which provided the initial text matches, subsequently verified by our Researcher, Dr Henry Summerson, was developed by the Research Technology Services team of the Oxford University Computing Services. James Cummings and Sebastian Rahtz were tirelessly creative, and recruited a highly effective project assistant, Arno Mittelbach.
In developing the web application we are very grateful to Richard Rowley and Tom Wrobel.
We have received advice on the project from the participants at the Holinshed Workshop held in Oxford in January 2009.
Administrative support was provided by Hayley Morris of the English Faculty.
Dr Ian W. Archer
Dr Felicity Heal
Dr Paulina Kewes
Dr Henry Summerson