Early Notes (1913-1915):1
Material Description and Collation: The manuscript is a stitched notebook in Joyce's hand in lead pencil. It has blue cardboard covers, a black cloth spine, and the front cover verso, back cover recto and end papers are grey; the leaves are stitched six times through the spine with white thread (the black cloth spine covers the stitching). It consists of 138 leaves of unruled paper, of which 60 pages are inscribed and 216 pages are blank (pp. , –). There are at least 3 pages torn out between pp. –, – and –, which have not been included in the present page count; small portions of the left margins are still bound into the notebook.
In 1965, therefore after Spielberg's cataloguing but prior to its reproduction in the JJA, pp. – of the manuscript underwent protective treatment, though the details of this process still need to be fully ascertained; the remaining pages have not been conserved. Pages – were disbound and the sheets were separated into individual leaves that were then backed with conservation paper and further encased in an opaque material; the covers, endpapers and pp. – were not disbound or treated. The encasing sheets are slightly larger than the manuscript leaves (the latter are about 20.0 cm. wide, while the encasements are 22.4 cm.).2
The blank portions of the encasing leaves face the spine so that the leaves could be bound through just the encasements rather than through the manuscript itself. The leaves were sewn with a single piece of string through six holes in the center and were then reattached in their original position within the notebook. Encapsulation has added thickness to the pages, causing the spine of the notebook to begin to warp slightly.
The manuscript is now housed in a navy blue case, with grey felt on the interior. The covers of the case are blank, but the spine has a black leather label attached that reads in gold gilt: "Exiles | - | Joyce", with a gold gilt decorative horizontal border at the top and bottom of the label.
This manuscript was conserved in a manner similar to the "A Portrait of the Artist": Essay, Sketch and Notes (MS II.A)and the Later Second-Order Notebook for Drafts, Typescripts and Proofs of Ulysses (MS V.A.2.b [V.A.2.])after 1962 but prior to the Ulysses manuscripts below (MSS V.A.3–22) and the "Work in Progress" galley proofs (MSS VI.G).
Title: Joyce wrote "Exiles | James Joyce" on the front cover recto in red crayon and "Exiles | (a play in three acts) | by | James Joyce" on p.  in lead pencil.
Measurements: The manuscript itself measures 27.9 x 22.5 cm. and the case is 30.5 x 24.4 cm.
Pagination: Joyce did not number the sheets but during conservation the pp. – were numbered "1"–"62", even-numbered pages in the upper left and odd-numbered pages in the upper right corners.
Contents: The manuscript contains the earliest extant notes for Exiles. Joyce wrote them after a now lost draft (or drafts) of Act I and before the extant dialogue fragments at Cornell, which were acquired after the publication of Robert Scholes' catalogue of the Cornell Joyce Collection. Joyce used these notes to write Acts II and III and amplify Act I.
Dating: John MacNicholas dates the manuscript from November 1913 to January 1915 in James Joyce's "Exiles": A Textual Companion (New York and London: Garland, 1979), p. 29. Two of Joyce's entries on p.  are dated "12 Nov. 1913" and "13 Nov. 1913".
Other Markings: Joyce separated blocks of text with horizontal lines in lead pencil.
Publication: The manuscript has been reproduced in black and white photo-facsimile on JJA 11.001–061.The manuscript has been edited and first published in Exiles: A Play in Three Acts, including Hitherto Unpublished Notes by the Author, Discovered After his Death and an Introduction by Padraic Colum (New York: The VikingPress, 1951; London: Jonathan Cape, 1952; reprinted London: Penguin, 1973), pp. 113–127.
Notes: The untreated blank pages are brittle and tanned from acidification. There is a stain on the front cover recto. The edges of several pages are ragged, some corners are missing and there are holes on pp.  and  and  and , though no text appears to be affected.
- La Hune, item 240; Slocum and Cahoon, item E.4.a.
- The reproductions in the JJA does not adequately represent the physical state of the manuscript.