While the website is under construction, my main focus as director is to get resources and tools available for researchers to have access to. One of the things which limits scholars' ability to publish research on the Ormulum is the unusual lettering which Orrm developed to reflect his own dialect.

Most of the letters are available via the Universal Character Set (USC) which informs which letters should be used in various fonts. A quick glance through the character map on your computer reveals fonts with hundreds of available characters to cover every modern language and most historical ones too. However, the Ormulum's character set is far too obscure to have been considered for inclusion. Fortunately our founder Nils-Lennart Johannesson was a prolific creator of fonts. The most important to my mind is ormplant, based in the Plantin family of fonts, which is used for the main text of the edition and is now available to be used in articles as well. It is the most clear way to render the important distinctions in Orrm's writing to a modern reader.

a comparison of 65r in the manuscript and edition
The Ormulum manuscript folio 65r (left) compared with the edition text (right).

Features like the paragraph marker, the square Tironian 'and' (a medieval '&'), the puncta elevata (upside-down semi-colons) and the little 'h' perched over the Old English 'g' on the first line are things which ordinary fonts are not designed to cope with. Nor were mechanical presses. The last edition (Holt, 1878) doesn't represent these features at all.

In addition to ormplant and OrmPlant Initial, which is used for larger capitals, I am uploading two further fonts designed to more closely duplicate Orrm's own writing, with all its quirks and oddities. The first is Orrmx which covers the majority of his letters, diacritics, stacks and punctuation, in a standardised medieval form. The second is Orrmx2 which is used for rarer features, such as misplaced nasal strokes and stacks and more complex paragraph markers. These take rather more getting used to.