11.0703 e-editions

Humanist Discussion Group (humanist@kcl.ac.uk)
Tue, 21 Apr 1998 21:43:08 +0100 (BST)

Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 11, No. 703.
Centre for Computing in the Humanities, King's College London

[1] From: Paul groves <paul.groves@computing- (20)
Subject: Re: 11.0689 print vs. online? scholarly edns?

[2] From: Giovanni Adamo <adamo@rmcisadu.let.uniroma1.it> (37)
Subject: 11.0701 Scholarly editions online

Date: Fri, 17 Apr 1998 14:00:12 +0100 (BST)
From: Paul groves <paul.groves@computing-services.oxford.ac.uk>
Subject: Re: 11.0689 print vs. online? scholarly edns?

On Mon, 13 Apr 1998, Charles Faulhaber wrote:

> --[2]------------------------------------------------------------------
> Date: Sat, 11 Apr 1998 18:04:44 -0700 (PDT)
> From: cbf@socrates.berkeley.edu
> >
> For an upcoming talk I am looking for examples of scholarly editions that
> are currently accessible via the web (preferably) or that are available in
> some other machine-readable form.

You could have a look at the Oxford Text Archive:



Paul Groves Email: paul.groves@oucs.ox.ac.uk
JTAP Project Officer Fax: +44 (0)1865 273 275
Humanities Computing Unit Tel: +44 (0)1865 273 226
Oxford University Computing Services
13 Banbury Road
Oxford, England. OX2 6NN

Date: Sun, 19 Apr 1998 23:52:00
From: Giovanni Adamo <adamo@rmcisadu.let.uniroma1.it>
Subject: 11.0701 Scholarly editions online

Referring to the suggestion expressed by Patricia Galloway,
I would remember one of Todd K. Bender's contributions,
published in CHum (10, 1976, 4, pp. 193-200):
"Literary Texts in Electronic Storage: The Editorial Potential".

"The 'real' repository of information -- says Bender -- is the
electronic data. Any printed expression of that data is merely
one among many possible provisional, incomplete, and arbitrary
formats of information which exists in its fullest and most flexible
form in electronic memory. [...] Rather than use electronic
equipment merely to imitate the features of printed data storage,
we should try to see in what ways it can be a better medium
than paper for preserving our literary heritage" (pp. 194-195).

Later, illustrating his researches on Joseph Conrad's works,
Bender presents a data base conceived to collect different
states or versions of a text, speaking of two dimensions:
the first one has to be considered as an horizontal axis
("length": the collection of the printed works of Conrad in MRF);
the second is the vertical dimension ("depth"), consisting of
the different versions stored for each Conrad's work.

"On the horizontal axis, we can compare vocabulary or
syntactical patterns in an early novel to those found in a
later work. In the vertical stack, we can see how Conrad
modified his spelling and punctuation for an English edition
as opposed to an American edition, or how he refined his style
or modified his ideas in varying revisions" (p. 196).

In my opinion, it is an interesting piece of the not yet
written history of humanities computing, but it is too
an excellent sample to think on the integration of the
editorial tradition within computing methods and technologies.

I could not say the aims for which hypertexts have been thought
(probably they were not specifically editorial targets), but
we could consider many other editorial technologies (beyond the
critical editions, the glosses, synoptic texts, and so on) as
the forerunners of the present hypertexts.

All the best,

Giovanni Adamo

Lessico Intellettuale Europeo - CNR, Roma (Italy)

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