An E-Framework for Scholarly Editions

  1. 1. Susan Schreibman

    Digital Humanities Observatory - Royal Irish Academy

Work text
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As discussed in our introduction, one impediment
to more scholars creating digital scholarly editions
is the size of the technological hurdles that need to be
overcome. The Digital Humanities Observatory (DHO),
a newly-founded national digital humanities centre located
in Dublin, Ireland, but serving the higher education
sector for the island of Ireland (both North and South),
has begun a process of consultation with its academic
partners and other interested parties (publishers, university
administrators, and scholarly societies) to develop a
framework for digital scholarly editions.
It almost goes without saying, or at least it should, that
not everyone who wishes to edit an edition for electronic
publication necessarily wants to become a digital
humanist. Despite the fact that there is a large and
established community of practice around editing texts
utilizing TEI/XML, there does not yet exist a framework
for digital scholarly editions. The majority of scholarly
editions are still developed as one-off productions with
the content tightly integrated with the software. We also
don’t, as a scholarly editing community, have agreedupon
formats, protocols, and methodologies for digital
scholarly editing and editions. Moreover, many of the
more mature first-generation digital projects creating online
editions from print sources have more in common
with digital library projects—i.e. editions created with
a light editorial hand, minimally encoded and with little
more contextualization than their print counterparts.
The DHO is entering into this endeavour on the back
of several European projects that have begun to explore
creating a framework for digital scholarly editions. Two
of them are especially important for the framing of the
DHO’s project: TextGrid and Interedition:
• TextGrid is a German-based project funded by the
Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung that
has developed a research infrastructure for collaborative
textual processing in the text sciences and
the humanities in general. TextGrid, like the DHO,
is based on grid technology.
• Interedition is a newly-formed COST Action funded
by the European Union. It is a project initiated by
the Huygens Institute (The Netherlands) to enhance
the international digital infrastructure for scholarly
editorial work. In a series of meetings, this project
brings together researchers in the field of literary
research and IT to develop a roadmap for creating
a shared supranational networked infrastructure for
digital scholarly editing and analysis.
Building on the experiences learned from these projects,
the DHO has begun a series of dialogues to help establish
a set of protocols, methodologies, rights management
and technical procedures to create a shared infrastructure
for digital scholarly editions in Ireland.
This paper will report on two of the major activities held
in Spring 2009: a one-day symposium bringing together
academics, publishers, librarians, and technologists; and
a Spring Scholarly Editing School. The Spring School
(to be held in April), will bring together many noted
scholarly editors and theorists of editing (both digital
and print). The week-long school will build on the preliminary
work of the symposium to help establish, on the
one hand, system requirements that the technical staff
of the DHO can implement, and on the other an economic,
social, and cultural framework so that scholars
can receive the training to work in this environment, the
academic credit for their scholarly work, and the peace
of mind in knowing their work will be part of an established infrastructure.
Anonymous (2008). Supporting Digital Scholarly Editions:
A Report on the Conference of January 14, 2008.
20Report%20FINAL-3.pdf (accessed 14 November
Cummings, James (2007). The Text Encoding Initiative
and the Study of Literature. In Siemens, Ray, and Schreibman,
Susan (eds), A Companion to Digital Literary
Studies. Oxford: Blackwell, pp. 451–76.
Digital Humanities Observatory. (accessed
14 November 2008).
Finneran, Richard J. (ed) (1996). The Literary Text
in the Digital Age. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan
Main_Page (accessed 14 November 2008).
McGann, Jerome (2002). Literary Scholarship in the
Digital Future. Chronicle of Higher Education, 13 December:
Price, Ken (2007). Digital Scholarly Editions. In Siemens,
Ray, and Schreibman, Susan (eds), A Companion
to Digital Literary Studies. Oxford: Blackwell, pp.
Schreibman, Susan (2002). Computer-mediated Texts
and Textuality: Theory and Practice. Computers and the
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TextGrid. (accessed 14 November

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