Digital Scholarly Editing

Reflections on Susan Schreibman’s 2013 article

In her article (Schreibman, 2013) Susan Schreibman goes through the history and the issues of digital scholarly editing. From the beginning when the scholars started to utilize the digital tools and started to build, usually in isolation, the frameworks for transcribing and encoding text. To the realization that most of the works were incompatible and so starting to collaborate in the creation of standards like the TEI (Text Encoding Initiative). To the future (or it is already the present) of more active collaborations like crowdsourcing and mass digitization.

Here are few points that have caught my attention.

First the realization that a digital edition is an entity in itself, something different from the written text or book that has been digitized.

Second that the object of study of an editing scholar is not anymore only the written text, but can assume different forms like audio, videos, maps, etc.; these different forms have all to be described by the same standard. Furthermore the same text can be studied through different points of view and interests. So it is important that the standard is adaptable or expandable.

Finally the realization that digitized material and also born digital artefacts need preservation. The technology evolves continually, software changes, and text, data, images, audio, video could become inaccessible. Even standards could become obsolete. So it is important to choose accurately formats and software, but also to continually monitor the digital editions and, if necessary, to reconvert them to more updated technologies.


Schreibman, Susan. 2013. “Digital Scholarly Editing” | Literary Studies in the Digital Age.

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