Methodology - Poems

Contents of the miscellany manuscripts are not recorded in their entirety. However, some poems have been selected for tracking across manuscripts if they meet at least one of the following criteria:

  1. They are popular among manuscript compilers, appearing in multiple miscellanies examined for the database.
  2. They reflect self-consciously on the act of copying poetry or creating a poetry miscellany.
  3. They reflect unique features of their miscellany context – e.g. they are adapted to fit a specific local addressee, or they form part of a sequence whose meaning is specific to that compilation.

Poems are identified by their first line and, where known, their author. For each poem entry, the first known printing date, a transcription from an early print source, and the database manuscripts in which it has been found are provided. In addition, each poem is described by subgenre and theme(s). Theme designations come from the same list as that of the miscellanies in general; subgenres are drawn from the following standardized list: Answer, Series, Occasional (including the occasion), Satire, Epigram, Sonnet, Epitaph, Epistle, Elegy, Prayer, Hymn, Ode, Panegyric, Pastoral, Song, Ballad, Lyric, Parody, Prologue, Epilogue, Recipe, Fable, Riddle, Topographical verse, Imitation, Paraphrase, Narrative, Essay, Educational material, Soliloquy, Dialogue, Latin, French, Italian, Greek.