Style Sheet

Preparing an essay for Textual Cultures

[Available in PFD here]

TC relies on an exact referencing system coordinated among the body of the essay, the footnotes (not endnotes), and a list of Works Cited organized by author and/or editor. Submissions without a complete list of Works Cited will not be considered for publication. It is counterproductive to rely upon an additional referencing system, such as abbreviations. Keep in mind as well that the readership of Textual Cultures does not belong to a single national field. Consequently to readers in Italy the “STC” will be as familiar as the “GSLI” is to scholars of Anglo-American textual studies. It is especially important not to rely on the use of sigle, or initials to indicate manuscripts in diverse traditions, such as Gg, A, B6, etc. These change from tradition to tradition of individual works and only make what we do less penetrable by young scholars in our own fields. If necessary the sigla can go after the first full reference to the MS, but the library, collection, and shelf-mark should be noted in each subsequent use for clarity.

When in doubt on any points of syntax and bibliographical listings, consult the latest edition (17) of the Chicago Manual of Style.

In addition to a final manuscript in Microsoft Word with a complete list of Works Cited, for publication authors must submit: a) a brief and essential Abstract (a summary of 50–150 words not taken from the essay itself) for the first page of the essay; b) a 100–150-word bio of the author(s) for a short section “About the Contributors”; c) all illustrations in an electronic files with digital images of no less than 600dpi; d) a list of illustrations (figures) and captions; e) appropriate permissions from the owners of the originals; and f) a signed agreement to publish.


File preparation:

Strip all formatting from Microsoft Word and use a font, such as Times New Roman, Garamond, or Goudy Old Style, in 12 point. Use Word’s Insert footnote feature for notes.



The goal of TC is to reproduce the cited author’s punctuation between the quotation marks. This philological style of punctuation does not correspond to the American style of punctuation. TC style means that in some cases there will be double punctuation at the close of a sentence, and especially in those cases in which the quotation contains the author’s question mark. The citing author’s punctuation always goes outside the quotation marks.

TC distinguishes among hyphens, n-dashes, and m-dashes. Hyphens (-) are used strictly for hyphenation. N-dashes (–) are used for serial sequences, including pages (73–4, 103–4, 200–10, 1970–5) and years (always in full form: 1970–1975, not 1970–75). Note as well that page numbers specifically should avoid redundancy: 73–4, rather than 73–74; 103–4, rather than 103–04. M-dashes are used for appositions and take a space on each side.

All ellipses that are not part of the original text, that is editorial ellipses, are bracketed [. . .] {note the spacing between the dots} – as in French usage.

Lowercase roman numerals are reserved for signatures (for example, AAiir). Chapter numbers should be in uppercase roman numerals. Otherwise all others should be in small caps.

r (recto) and v (verso) are italicized but not in super- or subscript.



To distinguish carefully among material features of manuscripts and books, especially early printed books, TC distinguishes between poetic verses and transcriptional lines. TC distinguishes between the sheet (folio) that is then folded to make a bifolium with two chartae (two manuscript ‘pages’ = always to chartae). MSS and early printed books that numbered by the recto of each charta are chartulated, rather than “paginated”. If an entire sheet, the raw material of a bifolium, is indicated it is a “folio”.



Titles of poetic works, long and lyric, are in italics (not quotation marks as in the American use for short poems). Novels or long collections are in italics. Short prose pieces are in quotation marks.



Footnotes are reserved for longer observations. Normally references in the body of the essay are indicated parenthetically indicating the author’s/editor’s last Name (in small caps), year of publication, and page/pages. If the author’s name is given in the sentence, cite only the year and page/s. Multiple references, leading — for example — readers to several related essays, should be cited in a footnote, using the the Author/Editor, date, page/s system, unless the entire essay or item is referenced, then Author or Editor and date are sufficient. In those cases in which a volume number is referenced as well, the number is included = Coluccia 2008, 3: 29–31. Otherwise, in parenthetical bibliographic information, always use a comma: (Mann 1994, 75).

The syntactic-punctuational logical of references in footnotes is the following: If the reference directs the reader to the work:  see Mann 1994; if the author is mentioned or discussed in the text of the footnote: as Mann notes in his most recent studies (1994, 72).  *NB: in the second example small caps are not used.


Page 1:

Title: In bold 18point centered

Skip two 12point spaces for author’s name in 14point italics centered

Skip three 12point spaces and center Abstract in small caps (not caps)

The abstract should be in italics (none for titles) 10point and left/right justified.

Skip a 12point space and insert a centered bold line of 32 12pt spaces

Skip another line to begin the essay.

The first line of the essay is not indented and is in small caps. Subsequent paragraphs in the same section of the essay are indented 3 spaces (tab). The first line of each subsequent paragraph within the section is indented. After each sectional division the first line is not indented.

Section titles should be in bold and centered; skip two lines to insert the title and one line before beginning the first line of the section’s body.


Final Page of the Body of the Essay:

At the close of the essay, the author’s affiliation is on the next line, justified right and in italics.

Skip two 12point lines and begin Works Cited in bold 14point centered

Skip one 12point line and begin the list.

If necessary the list can be subdivided into the categories of Manuscripts, and Printed Sources, or Manuscripts, and Printed and Digital Sources;

Manuscripts should be listed by: the City in which they are found, the Library, the Collection, and the Shelf-mark (together with previous marks listed after olim); see, for example, TC 5.2 (2010), 51.


Printed references should be arranged generally by:

Author (Last Name first [note small caps]. Year of publication. Title. Place of publication: publisher.

Articles: note the placement of punctuation.

Knight, Jeffrey Todd. 2009. “Fast Bind, Fast Find: The History of the Book and the Modern Collection”. Criticism 51: 79–104.

Articles with multiple authors in a collection: note placement of pages, full spelling of “edited”, and use of small caps:

Boffey, Julia, and John J. Thompson. 1989. “Anthologies and Miscellanies: Production and Chioice of Texts”. Book Production and Publishing in Britain 1395–1475, edited by Jeremy Griffiths and Derek Pearsall, 279–315. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

*Expansion of an initial in initialed names: Doyle, A[nthony] I., Parkes, M[alcolm] B. {this allows the less initiated to track down bibliography}

Pollard, A[lfred] W., and Gilbert R. Redgrave. 1976–1991. Short-Title Catalogue of Books Printed in England, Scotland, and Ireland, and of English Books Printed Abroad 1475–1640, 2d ed., revised and enlarged by William A. Jackson, Frederic S. Ferguson, and Katherine F. Pantzer. 3 Vols. London: Bibliographical Society.

Editor for author: in those cases where the editor or edition of a work is discussed, or the orientation to the study is through editions, always cite the work by the editor. In those cases in which the name of the author is in the title, follow the title as it appears:

Sanguineti, Federico, ed. 2001. Dantis Alagherii Comedia, edizione critica. Florence: Edizioni del Galluzzo.

Otherwise, the name of the author can be added before or after the title but not in italics:

Belloni, Gino, Furio Brugnolo, H. Wayne Storey, and Stefano Zamponi, eds. 2003. Francesco Petrarca, Rerum vulgarium fragmenta. Rome–Padua: Vatican Library–Antenore.

In those entries in which titles that stand in for the author (as in the case of The Riverside Shakespeare), use the shortened form (Riverside) in small caps and italics, followed by the date and then the full title.

“In” should be used for clarity, especially when a work that would normally be italicized is in a larger volume of such works:

Mengaldo, Pier Vincenzo, ed. 1996. De vulgari eloquentia. In Dante Alighieri, Opere minori, vol. 3, tomo 1: De vulgari eloquentia, Monarchia, 1–237. Milano–Napoli: Ricciardi–Mondadori.

Those works for which reprints are used by scholars, the date of the edition should appear in order to indicate the historical context of the original research:

Loew, E[lias] A[very]. [1914] 1999. The Beneventan Script: A History of the South Italian Minuscule. Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press (rpt. Sandpiper Books).

Those entries that use lowercase roman numerals (pagination of introductions) should be in small caps.


Additional Instructions for Reviewers:

Reviews should begin with the reviewed volume’s bibliographic information in 14point and organized by:

Author (last name in small caps), first name. Date. Title (in italics). Place of publication: publisher. ISBN 13. # of pages (and, where appropriate,  illustrations/figures/musical examples). Hardcover or softcover. Price (preferably in dollars and/or euros).

Round, Philip H. 2010. Removable Type: Histories of the Book in Indiana Country, 1663–1880. Chapel Hill: The University of North Carolina Press. 978-0-8078-7120-1. Pp. xii + 282 and 38 illustrations. Paperback. $26.95.

For the body of the essay, reviewers should follow the house style as described above. The reviewer’s name and affiliation are placed at the end of the review, justified right: first the author’s name and on a second line her/his affiliation in italics.



Alan W. Friedman
University of Texas, Austin

In cases of doubt, consult the 17th-edition of the Chicago Manual of Style or the editor in charge of reviews for their section (Anglo-American or Continental–Mediterranean).