Wikipedia:Naming conventions (manuscripts)

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This convention is a guideline on how to name the article relating to a historical manuscript.

  • If a manuscript has an English name, the manuscript's article should be under that name. (See below for exception)
  • Manuscript names in other languages should be translated into English, unless the manuscript is widely known in English scholarship under a name in another language. (e.g. Très Riches Heures du Duc de Berry, Vergilius Vaticanus)
  • If a manuscript has multiple names, the most common should be used (e.g. Book of Kells). If it cannot be determined which name is most common, the name used by the owner of the manuscript should be used. (e.g. Lichfield Gospels).
  • If there is no English name and one can be constructed that will unambiguously refer to the manuscript, then that name may be used. This is most useful for manuscripts that are the only one of its type within a particular collection. A name can be constructed by combining the name of the city or town, institution, or collection with the type of manuscript (e.g. Ranworth Antiphoner)
  • If none of the above apply an article name should be constructed using the following formula:
    • Manuscript Description (City, Institution, Shelf Number).
      • Only the information that is necessary to identify the manuscript should be used within the parentheses. In practice this would mean that the name of the city could often be left out, for example it is not necessary to add "London" in British Library manuscript titles.
  • Manuscripts are physical objects, not "works". They have names not titles, and these are therefore not italicized. In some cases the manuscript may contain the only original text of a work. The distinction between eg Beowulf the poem and the Nowell Codex which contains the only manuscript source should be maintained.