The term 'Anglo-Saxon charter' covers a multitude of documents, ranging in kind from the royal diplomas issued in the names of Anglo-Saxon kings between the last quarter of the seventh century and the Norman Conquest, which are generally in Latin, to the wills of prominent churchmen, laymen, and women, which are generally in the vernacular. The corpus comprises about 1500 texts, of which about 200 are preserved in single-sheet form (including originals, later copies, and forgeries), and of which the remainder are preserved as copies entered in medieval cartularies, or as transcripts made by early modern antiquaries. It has long been recognised that the charters form a vital part of the evidence for our understanding of all aspects of the history and culture of Anglo-Saxon England.
This corpus is intended to include all pre-Conquest title deeds known to have survived: that is, all documents relating to grants of land and liberties, whoever their grantee, whatever their diplomatic form — wills and memoranda as well as diplomas and writs, leases as well as grants in perpetuity. The text of each charter (in the original Latin or Old English) is accompanied by a critical apparatus and detailed commentary. An introduction places each archive in context and the series is sponsored jointly with the Royal Historical Society.