The Vernon Manuscript Project

The Vernon Manuscript is the biggest and most important surviving late medieval English manuscript.

The Vernon manuscript

Written in the dialect spoken in the English West Midlands around 1400 AD, and lavishly decorated and illustrated, it is an extensive collection of poetry and prose for pious readers. Over its 600-year history, few have had the opportunity to interact with it, and this treasure of English literature and the arts of book-making is little known to specialists or the wider public. The Vernon Manuscript Project is dedicated to expanding knowledge and understanding of the manuscript and offering opportunities for specialist and non-specialist audiences to engage with it and enjoy it. The edition and underlying data are available for free download at the University of Oxford Research Archive.

Online exhibition with Bodleian Libraries

This online exhibition celebrates a landmark in the history of the Vernon manuscript: the publication of the first full colour facsimile and transcription and the unprecedented access this now gives to every page of this extraordinary book. The exhibition uses images made for the edition and draws on research carried out in conjunction with this project.


  • 15 May 2012, Discovering the Vernon Manuscript[including video recordings of the talks]
  • 6 June 2012, The Vernon Manuscript - An E-Reader on Parchment, Hay Festival
  • 10 June 2012 Readings of the Vernon Manuscript, Community Day
  • 17 October 2015 The Vernon Manuscript: The Mercian Tung, National Dialect Weekend

West Midlanders join in!
Would medieval people have understood your English? Our latest project asks how far people in the English West Midlands today share the language of the Vernon manuscript. Learn more...

The Vernon project in the news

Learn more

AHRC logo

This Vernon Manuscript Project has received support from the AHRC.