Latent Information in Libraries and Archives: A Fluid Text Model and Proposed Documenting Infrastructure for Facilitating Textual Transmission from Codex to Online

poster / demo / art installation
  1. 1. Steven L. MacCall

    University of Alabama

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This poster addresses the question: What role can library science and its cooperative organizing methods play within the infrastructure required to facilitate, capture, and preserve the processes involved with the transmission of texts from codex to online? The maturing of online publishing technologies, as evidenced by the present high- rate of innovation in digital scholarly editing, complicates the matter. To deal with this question, library scientists must first make the case to librarians that they are involved in a time of historic change as texts transmit from print books to the online environment and as new types of book and book-like formats emerge online. But more importantly, fundamental research in library science is needed as a basis upon which to develop 21st century professional practice. This poster presents a library science-derived model for the cooperative organizing of the various aspects involved with codex to online textual transmission that is based on the fluid text theory of textual theorist John Bryant. We briefly describe the model and how it provides a basis for an organizing method that relates bibliographical and other evidence centered on a targeted “fluid” text. As a test of the generalizability of the model, we also show how it is extendable to a broader McKenzian conception of “text” in the context of the cooperative organizing of digital special collections materials that themselves are transitioning from analog status to the networked digital environment. We close with speculation on what type of documenting infrastructure might be needed to facilitate such organizing methods including suggestion for intertextual citation approach suitable for an online publishing environment that is absent the familiar pages and page numbering of the codex.

Bryant, J. L. (2002). The Fluid Text: A Theory of Revision and Editing for Book and Screen. University of Michigan Press.

McKenzie, D.F. (1999). Bibliography and the Sociology of Texts. New York: Cambridge University Press.

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Conference Info


ADHO - 2014
"Digital Cultural Empowerment"

Hosted at École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL), Université de Lausanne

Lausanne, Switzerland

July 7, 2014 - July 12, 2014

377 works by 898 authors indexed

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Attendance: 750 delegates according to Nyhan 2016

Series: ADHO (9)

Organizers: ADHO