The Ormulum Project is a long-term research project at the English Department at Stockholm University, and formally based at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology in Trondheim. Between 1993 and 2019, it was the sole work of Professor Nils-Lennart Johannesson (1948-2019), who produced an astonishing amount of work on the every aspect of the language and provenance of the Ormulum. Much of this work remains unpublished.

The Ormulum is a 12th-century Middle English manuscript of great complexity. It represents the only surviving part of a much larger book of sermons, written in the local dialect of Southern Lincolnshire with a unique alphabet. Indeed, it represents the only significant textual source of language from that time and place, shortly after the Norman conquest, when English was undergoing a significant, irreversable change from Old English to Middle English.

The ultimate goal of the project is to discover whatever has not already been revealed from study of this manuscript. This includes the publication of original research, but also the creation of editions. Goals for 2022 include:

Outside the website:

  • A critical edition as a printed book,

For this website:

  • corpus-searchable versions of the preface and homilies,

As of 2021, the following have started to become available:

  • fonts and other tools for researchers,
  • a full glossary.

Research submitted:

  • on the phonology and orthography of the manuscript,
  • on the runic inscription on the inside cover.

We welcome any contributions or suggestions. Please contact the director of the project Andrew Cooper with any enquiries.