Week nine: defining the edition

In preparation for the next session you will be planning how your particular mini-edition might work and defining its scope and aims.

  1. Find and bring along any modern printed edition of a text from the past – for example, the kind of critical edition produced by Penguin Classics, Oxford World’s Classics series, or Norton critical editions. Carefully note its paratextual features (in other words, everything in the edition that is not the literary text itself).
  1. The key question to ask is, why create it as a digital edition? Map out how you would like your own digital edition to work:
  • What features of a print critical edition would you aim to reproduce in a digital edition?
  • What particular features (e.g. social, historical, literary, physical) of your own book would you emphasise? What other information or contexts might you include to help with this emphasis? You might need to research the text / author / genre in more detail!
  • What about formats? And how would you like your reader to read it, navigate it, access it, use it?
  • To what extent would you like your reader to interact with it? Read this article on social editions: Scott McLemee, ‘The Social Edition.’ In, Inside Higher Ed, January 2nd, 2013.
  1. To help with these questions, ask the same questions in relation to some existing digital editions / archives (most of these links are on the module blog). Choose at least three from the list below. Make sure you write up your notes and set out some of the features of your own mini-edition.

In the session.

  1. By now you should have: a plain text file of your scans (.txt) and a html version (.html). It doesn’t matter if you haven’t worked up all the pages in html. We will go over what you have been able to do and reflect upon the losses and gains that occur when transforming a physical document into a digital web-based format.
  1. We will look over your research of existing digital editions and refine the rationale for your own editions (the ‘why digital’ question). I’ll also demonstrate some online tools one could add to digital editions.