Digital Editions, Past and Future

multipaper session
  1. 1. John Lavagnino

    King's College London, National University of Ireland, Galway (NUI Galway)

Work text
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Our panelsurveys the field of digital editions, ranging
from past achievements and future projects. Our focus is on the problem of shared infrastructure: the lack of
reusable machinery for producing and publishing such
editions is the biggest obstacle to their creation and survival. As long as each project is obliged to develop much
of its own infrastructure, we won’t see speedy progress.
But building such infrastructure is not an easy task.
Scholarly editions are complex publications: they need
to present documents and works with a high degree of
fidelity to original sources, and add on top of that an
analytic layer that describes variations and offers discussions of difficult words or passages. Tools that are
flexible enough for this are hard to build; this session
describes some, but they do not exist in large numbers.
And the complexity and the limitations of software for
digital repositories and digital libraries suggest that in
this more complex arena it’s a challenge to devise general solutions.
Our demands are also increasing. We are now dissatisfied by editions that are docu-islands; we want everything to link together, better than print editions can do
it. We want an appealing and consistent reader experience, not something that each edition does differently.
We want continuous development of a broad collection
of editions, one that many scholars can contribute to, and
not a set of closed projects that don’t talk to one another.
The first talk, by John Lavagnino, is about the past: it
describes the problems of digital scholarly editing in the
light of a completed project, with particular attention to
the problem of handling the large number of types of text
an edition might include, and the problem of building
machinery that has to keep working if the edition is to
remain available.
The second talk, by Fotis Jannidis, is about the immediate future: it describes the tension between the complex
requirements of a digital genetic edition of Goethe’s
Faust and the difficulties of fulfilling them with a working environment which has to be developed or at least
heavily adapted for this task.
Finally, Susan Schreibman’s talk looks at the current
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state of international efforts to develop infrastructure
further, and at initiatives to build a digital text-editing
community in Ireland based on those efforts

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Conference Info


ADHO - 2009

Hosted at University of Maryland, College Park

College Park, Maryland, United States

June 20, 2009 - June 25, 2009

176 works by 303 authors indexed

Series: ADHO (4)

Organizers: ADHO

  • Keywords: None
  • Language: English
  • Topics: None