Humanities Labs and E-Texts

Tue, 23 Feb 1993 13:55:10 EST

Switching my hats for a moment, I'd like to follow up on the comments
various people have made about possible uses for e-texts (this is
not an academic question, per se, for me, since one of the issues I'm
struggling with at this very moment is how to make versions of electronic
texts available, what those versions should/could/might contain, and
what uses would be made of them). Charles Faulhaber mentioned
poetry in particular:

blankety-blank's reference to student's finding "star" in x poem and "star"
in y poem and making an (albeit incorrect) comparison between them suggests
that these poems would at the least be indexable by word usage. What else?

how would you find it most useful to have a large volume of poems created by
a single author handled? As a single unit, or as separate items that can
be followed one after another by opening multiple files? Or in pre-selected
units chosen by someone else? All of the above? Something else?

would you want links or markers or indications that other works by the same
author are available? should that be available only from an author index or
would you want it somehow tied to the text file or files?

How would you prefer to see information about different printings of the
same text handled? layered into a single file but separable because of
mark-up? each version in a separate file with links indicated to the other
versions of the same file? a single text file followed by a list of the
emendations in each of the other printings of that text?

How much (if any) ancillary material would you like to see provided (chronology,
links with other authors of the period, etc.), especially for texts you expect
students to work with or that you're unfamiliar with?

For prose texts, again, how would you prefer to see them organized and indexed?
Do you have different standards for works that you're familiar with as opposed
to works you're not?

How important is screen display? the ability to download a version of the

are you willing to pay for texts that are otherwise unavailable except
on the net?

once you've captured a text, what else do you do you want to be able to do with
Read it, count