First thing mentioned in the 1904 preface is the purpose of this edition, to provide “the best reconstruction of the most ancient text of the ecclesiastical tradition and, more specifically, of the Church of Constantinople.”
The text was not based on codices used in ‘critical’ editions, those in capital letters, but on manuscripts in small letters, that are usually neglected. Most of them come from and after the 10th century, containing the full text of the New Testament, while others contain only the parts being used in church offices — they are the so called eklogadia (lectionaria), or Evangeliaria, or Praxapostoloi.
In the following list, manuscripts with one or two asterisks (at the beginning) are those compared by the editor — with two ** for manuscripts compared during the preparation of the text, and one * for those compared during the revision. A β is used for Evangeliaria of the Byzantine type, an α is used for the remarkable incomplete Evangeliaria and Praxapostoloi, an † for those kept in vestries, and an σ for the continuous texts of Praxapostoloi.
The manuscripts used during the preparation and revision of the text — beyond the numerous copies of incomplete Evangeliaria and of Tetraevangela (volumes with the four gospels) compared in Constantinople and the Holy Mount — were:
** Of the Chalki School of Theology, 1. 3α. 4. 7 of the Monastery, and 1. 2β. 5α. 6α of the School.
** Chalki Merchant School, † 167. 168β. 169β. 170. 171. 172. 173.
** Glebe of the Holy Sepulchre in Constantinople, 11. 272. 649.
** St George’s at the gate of Adrianoupolis, two †, the one incomplete, the other complete (of those in Haghia Sophia).
* St Demetrios’ of Tataoula, two †, the one from 1550, the older β.
* Coutloumousiou [Mount Athos], 62β. 64. 65.
* Caracallou [Mount Athos], 11. 13 β.
* Xeropotamou [Mount Athos], 122β.
* Iviron [Mount Athos], 1α. 3β. 9β. 10β. 11. 12β. 13. 638. and one †α.
* Lavras [Mount Athos], Α 72. 84. 86α. 93β. 95. 97β. 105. 111β. 113. 116β. 117. 118.
Of the National Library of Greece, 67. 164. 186.
Of the Jerusalem Library, 9. 12. 33. 40. 95β. 152. 186β. 236. 245β. (and some of the Church of the Resurrection β).
Of the Church Academy in Petersburg, two, the one from 985 β, and the other from 1034.
** Of the School of Theology, 13. 14. 15α. 9σ. 16σ. 177σ (the last one incomplete).
** Of the Merchant School, 59. 74. 26σ. 35σ. 96σ. 133σ.
* Coutloumousiou [Mount Athos], 80σ.
* Caracallou [Mount Athos], 62.
* Iviron [Mount Athos], 24σ. 25σ. 28σ. 29σ. 30σ. 37σ. 39σ. 52σ. 57σ. 60σ.
* Lavras [Mount Athos], Β 64σ. 74. 79. 90. Γ 123. Α 65σ.
** Of Chalki Merchant School, 26. 96.
** Of the Glebe of the Holy Sepulchre in Constantinople, 303.