The first version of the Menota handbook was published 20 May 2003, and the second version followed suit 16 May 2008. This third version has been several years in the making; it adds no less than six new chapters and it reorganises the majority of the previous ten chapters. Comparing “What is Menota” in version 2 with the parallel chapter 1 in the present version will give a quick overview of the changes. In spite of all the changes there is a high degree of continuity in the handbook, in its perspective and in its fundamental recommendations.
Version 2.0 offered several appendices with schemas, stylesheets and other resources. These have been extended with three more appendices, one on the linking to external resources, one documenting the stylesheets for the handbook itself and one offering a very simple Menota compatible encoding. The changes in this part of the handbook are on the whole less than in ch. 1–16.
Completely new in version 3.0 is a tutorial which explains how a text can be transcribed in a straightforward way such that it can be converted into a valid Menota XML file by a Perl script. This is the MenotaBlitz application developed by Robert K. Paulsen (Bergen).
In this third version of the handbook, each chapter and appendix has been credited by the name of the author(s). All in all, the handbook and the accompanying archive is – over the years and reaching back to version 1.0 – the result of contributions from eighteen people, here listed in alphabetical order and with their present place of work: Ivar Berg (Trondheim), Haraldur Bernharðsson (Reykjavík), Marco Bianchi (Uppsala), Tone Merete Bruvik (Bergen), Matthew Driscoll (København), Odd Einar Haugen (Bergen), Jonna Louis-Jensen (København), Karl G. Johansson (Oslo), Jon Gunnar Jørgensen (Oslo), Alex Speed Kjeldsen (København), Rune Kyrkjebø (Bergen), Paul Meurer (Bergen), Robert K. Paulsen (Bergen), Friederike Richter (Berlin), Beeke Stegmann (Reykjavík), Nina Stensaker (Bergen), Tarrin Wills (København) and Andreas Witt (Mannheim).
As the general editor of this handbook and its accompanying resources, I would like to thank everybody for their contribution. I think I speak on behalf of all the contributors when I express the hope that the handbook may encourage more people to encode Medieval Nordic documents and that it perhaps answers a few questions that the previous versions left unanswered.
Only two of the contributors have English as their mother tongue. I would like to thank Patrick Farrugia (Bergen) and Tarrin Wills (København) for going through the whole text of the handbook and helping us to make it more idiomatic.
Bergen, date and year
Odd Einar Haugen