Elpub : Digital Library : Works

Paper 0024:
DIGITAL INCUNABULA: VERSIONALITY AND VERSATILITY IN DIGITAL SCHOLARLY EDITIONS

id 0024
authors Dahlström, Mats
year 2000
title DIGITAL INCUNABULA: VERSIONALITY AND VERSATILITY IN DIGITAL SCHOLARLY EDITIONS
source Electronic Publishing 2000. Electronic Publishing in the Third Millenium: Proceedings of an ICCC/IFIP conference held at Kaliningrad/Svetlogorsk, Russia August 17-19 2000/Edited by Peter Linde, John W.T.Smith, Elena Emilianova. Washington D.C.: ICCC Press, 2000. 239 p. ISBN: 1-891365-07-X
summary The physical medium signifies. Any document type within any medium offers a semiotic setting of its own, a particular document architecture [1]. Every transmission of a literary work affects its text [2] due to the particular media used and the choices made by the individual transmitter. Certain features of the textual work that can be expressed within the new architecture and its web of signs are preserved, while others are treated as noise, obscuring the essential text signals. This certainly holds true for the current transition of text: with each digitisation certain particulars of both the work and the tool are emphasised at the expense of others, and there is always some collision between different document architectures [3].

Furthermore, as any McLuhan student knows, a new media form poses as the old medium by imitating its very form. Any bibliological study will tell how the first printed books, known as the incunables, well into the 16th century tried to fit a previous medial expression into the economy of the new, and thereby did their best to pose as handwritten, illuminated manuscripts [4].

Such collisions and transitions have, to some extent, been studied within disciplines such as book history, editorial theory, textual criticism, and analytical and historical bibliography. One would therefore welcome more intense cooperative efforts between the currently "sexy" market of electronic publishing and the perhaps not-so-sexy competence of the latter disciplines.

keywords digital libraries, electronic publishing, text archives
series ELPUB:2000
type full paper
email mats.dahlstrom@hb.se
content file.pdf (177,227 bytes)
discussion No discussions. Post discussion ...
ratings Ratings: 3
urn:nbn urn:nbn:se:elpub-0024
last changed 2008/07/04 07:19
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