One of the finest medieval publication enterprises – perhaps even the finest – currently underway is the Joint Committee of the British Academy and Royal Historical Society’s ongoing series of editions of the surviving muniments of (or else relating to) Anglo-Saxon monasteries. I’m gradually accumulating the published editions which have some relevance to Surrey or places elsewhere I have had, or will have, cause to write about; only yesterday I ordered both volumes of the Charters of Abingdon Abbey (published 2000 and 2001) for the piece I have underway about St Dunstan and his land acquisition strategy.
A lot of academic works contain frustrating references to “Charters of such and such forthcoming”, with no indication as to when such things might see the light of day; I’ve mentioned this on more than one occasion previously in respect of Susan Kelly’s projected – or rather promised – volume on the archive of Chertsey Abbey. Well, by pure happenstance yesterday I discovered that the edition of the pre-Conquest charters of Glastonbury Abbey, a hugely complex archive, is the next volume in the series to be published (if it has not been already, to judge from the Amazon.co.uk listing, although the publishing house, OUP, page “estimates” May 2012). Off the back of this, a bit more digging turned up a brief note by Simon Keynes, ostensibly giving guidance on how to cite the various editions in the series and other analogous works on Anglo-Saxon charters. What makes this document especially useful is the information it provides on forthcoming volumes, beginning with Glastonbury (which is number 15 in the series) and progressing first to Charters of Northern Houses (number 16) and then the one I’ve waiting for, Charters of Christ Church, Canterbury by Nicholas Brooks and the ever-busy Susan Kelly (now promised as a mighty three-volume set numbered 17 to 19). After that, who knows; among the half a dozen or so volumes “in advanced stages of preparation” are those for Westminster and Winchester Old Minster, both of which will make a significant contribution to updating and/or facilitating charter studies in Surrey. And maybe one day we will at long last have an indicative date for the publication of the Chertsey archive edition. One can only hope.