Category: Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin-PK

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Spring, disillusion and something like zen

The new semester began yesterday and it already feels like it has been months. I spent those two days struggling to get some actual work done – I succeeded for about 3 hours, which is not so bad. I remember not being able to cope with the distribution of my work time between administrative tasks, meetings, applications, teaching (minimal as I only teach one class) and research (research itself being divided again in archive work, reading, encoding, writing, editing) not a year ago. The disillusion as to what I can hope from my work days has at least achieved that I see...

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Horizon 2026

Yesterday, we had a guest in the person of Peter Stadler, who came to present the Carl-Maria-von-Weber-Gesamtausgabe and talk about technicalities and general DH philosophy. It is always interesting, as it has also been in discussions with Stefan Dumont (who develops the digital work environment of the Schleiermacher edition at the Academy of Sciences), to see what kind of differences it makes to transform a non-digital edition into a digital one on one side and, on the other, to conceive the whole edition as a digital one from the beginning.  Digital editions that are built on the basis of a print product...

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Love Surrogates

In terms of data architecture, we should all love surrogates. Still, they seem to me to be one of the most difficult concept to explain to people who don’t deal with organizing digital data. Today’s post is a first attempt  to explain this (hoping to be as pedagogical as possible!). It seems to be a common point of view amongst traditional humanists that having different entry points (say dates or persons or places) in a database or in a digital edition would mean that there is no underlying order to it. This might even be one major obstacle to conceiving...

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Out of the shadow, into the light

In 1813, Adelbert von Chamisso published a novel that became a major literary success. It was the story of Peter Schlemihl, the man who sold his shadow. He wrote the text during a stay in Kunersdorf, a hamlet 80 km east of Berlin. This is the place where the Chamisso Society held its yearly meeting yesterday within the facilities of the  Kunersdorfer Musenhof, a house hosting a permanent exhibition dedicated to Chamisso.     I realized then how many different ways of looking at Chamisso’s life and work there can be, how many different ways there are to keep the...

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Can you keep a secret?

OK, I still haven’t posted the link to the edition. Actually, I intend to polish the Tieck letters (and wrap up the few missing ones) tomorrow. The postponing only extends to tomorrow evening. The fact that the University is empty and nobody seems to be around (ever heard about Easter break in Germany? fairly comparable to Christmas break…) has not been a great incentive to hurry up. Anyway. If you have been following this blog carefully, you will have noticed that there is a corpus I never ever posted on. I mentioned in my last post the difficulties raised by...