At its 82nd assembly, the Union Académique Internationale asked the Institut d’Estudis Catalans (IEC) to continue the project of the Corpus des Troubadours, initiated and directed by Ramon Aramon i Serra (in collaboration, since 1982, with Aurelio Roncaglia) and continued by Professor Alberto Vàrvaro.
The poetry of the troubadors is a basic and fundamental part of the history of European culture, regarded as an equal to the classics; still, in 1962, the poems of the troubadours were scattered among individual editions that were often difficult to obtain. Because of this, our project was created with the the initial objective of creating a reliable edition of the whole of the works of the troubadours. At the time, however, it was considered that this task could not yet be completed because of the insufficient quality of available academic works, and so the Corpus des Troubadours collection was started in order to create and publish necessary basic studies.
We believe, of course, that the culture of the troubadours (and not only their poetry) is a fundamental, foundational element of European culture, and that it should always be analyzed from a rigorous, universal and modern point of view. Fortunately, these last fifty years have brought about great strides in this field of investigation. It goes without saying that the search for a greater knowledge of the troubadour tradition as a whole will continue to benefit from the same support it has enjoyed in the past. In this new phase, under the auspices of the Institut d’Estudis Catalans, we will continue to promote and publish studies and editions with the same rigor and quality that have set our project apart since it was first created. We would also like to place special emphasis on the importance of the troubadours in European history and encourage studies on their impact and reception (questions of great importance in modern literary studies). With this in mind, the significance of the troubadours in the cultural tradition of Europe will serve as a new focus for our research. We will also pay special attention to Catalan troubadours and to the Occitan literary tradition in Catalonia, a country that has been deeply associated with Occitan culture from the very beginning. Nowadays, Occitan studies have spread throughout the globe. Unfortunately, though, existing editions of troubadour texts are often quite old, and have only ever been printed in limited quantities; as a result, they are only available for libraries or specialized centers of research and are generally hard to access. The economic support and other means the IEC has dedicated to this project promise to rectify this situation. With the passage of time, Occitan studies have achieved a level of excellence that allows us to face the future with new points of view and new tools. For this reason, we have decided to create a website, which aims to place all the editions that are still relevant or useful (and for which we can obtain permission to publish) at the hands of interested readers and investigators.
There is no question that the Internet has become a necessary and extraordinarily useful tool, capable of bringing all sorts of useful content into our very homes: facsimiles of manuscripts, reproductions of unobtainable books or scarce, antique publications; library catalogues, databases... With this website dedicated to the Corpus des Troubadours, we hope to contribute to knowledge and research, and also to offer academics and troubadour enthusiasts all the resources that technology, dedication and passion have placed at our disposal. We hope that the usefulness of our project compensates our hard work.