L as in Long Time (though semi-long would also do for the time being)

The one thing I have been missing for months (together with having more text online, please, please, please) was the feeling of having a clear plan. The more I have to present myself with a vision, the less I feel like I have one. Being now under no duty whatsoever (except the one to get ready to teach the Vorlesung “Schriftsteller_innen und ihre Verleger_innen” from April 2014 on), I feel like *the inner plan* is moving me again – carrying me would be more like it. The problem is, the plan lacks the right conditions for its realization.

What should happen with the edition? Obviously, the part where I need to fight to get more text online seems to be on the path of resolution. After that, collation. After that, network visualization. At which point (in a year or a year and a half), the tagging should have evolved, been precised, and stabilized. Then we should able to aggregate other editions and work with quantitative tools (still fairly blurry right now, but I am confident that having a husband specialized in machine learning will pay off at some point – like this one for instance). These different steps will easily fill the 2 years left for the project, especially if I have to keep looking out for additional funding as I have been for the last 2 years.

This supposes that the whole installation survives two years, and survives over these two years. For the time being, if a hammer lands on the server for some reason (or if a train full of pure oil explodes between Friedrichstrasse and Hackescher Markt), we are basically doomed. We have no MoU that guarantees anything, just computer space. I am beginning to get really nervous about that.

You might argue that things were not different a year or so ago, but when I see the speed at which the edition will increase its volume in the months ahead, I am afraid I might not be able to have all my head as I have had until now. This is one point.

The other point that makes the archiving question complicated is the fact that the edition itself is now connected to a repository (the Boeckh platform, accessible online with password until August, then accessible online without a password – if you want the password, let me know!). What we need is archiving the XML files, the perl files, the html files of the edition as well of the repository, which are two different types of structures. And as you know, it is never really only about archiving. It is about long time accessibility, long time readability. I am at a loss for an institution that would be able to tell me: it will cost you that much to guarantee that much of data maintenance for that long a time.

Right now, it seems to me that I need a clear vision on that level in order to be able to proceed with the whole rest. If I don’t, I will remain some kind of fraud (like I feel now), building shiny castles that are actually made of sand.

Add New

Seldom (maybe never) has it felt such a relief to open hypotheses.org as it is tonight. Weeks of forced blogging abstinence, rushing ahead without looking left and right, with the edition seemingly stuck in its rachitic state. But victory, victory at last! We are moving on! What a relief –

I have been obsessed by the single aim to get more text online for months and trying to move mountains to reach that goal – with little success at first. It seems that the fruits of those efforts will finally be harvestable in the days ahead:

– the transcriptions of all letters from Tieck to Raumer already online have been reviewed by Henrike Both; Johanna is now feeding them in the XML files, adding missing xml:ids and enriching the comments (the following letters awaiting her then – she is so good at reading and commenting Tieck and in encoding in general that I think, with the two of us, we will wrap up the corpus before the end of the year) – link to the corpus here!

– Sabine has been actively encoding Boeckh’s reports on the philological seminar and we received yesterday the authorization to publish (online and in print) the scans of the original documents from the University Archive – a first ever. The link to the corpus is here (the scans should be online on Monday)! The director of the Historical Collections of the Grimm-Zentrum is to be thanked greatly for scanning the documents and making this publication possible.

– Julia has almost reached entry 2 000 of Boeckh’s book catalogue (which counts a little less than  6 000 on the whole). This is still not online since the visualization involves a direct link to the work index which requires some tuning, but Alex and I settled on a reasonable solution this morning, and it should be online before the end of the month. I will certainly let you know about it!

– Sophia is almost done preparing the Voß-Solger letters (a print version) and especially the commentary. As soon as this is done (only a few more days), she will get back to unifying some 15 Chamisso letters that are on our internal platform, waiting to be polished. Those should be published in the course of summer.

– Selma has encoded her reference text by Helmina von Chézy (an open letter / fictional text addressed to Bettina von Arnim). This should be online in a month or so.

– Alex and I agreed today on activating the pdf button of the edition by Mid-September. The pdf conversions already works pretty well for letters as it is, but need some re-working to be reasonably clean when applied to the other types of manuscripts we have. Roxane, being the only drama (and the only manuscript with comparatively short lines), always requires specific attention. And will get it for the pdf function as well.

Which means that we will be able to work on the collation from the fall on (sooo looking forward to developing something new!!!), with 2 out of the 3 due volumes in print (one is Voss, in German, and the other one is the “figures of the intellectual”, in French – I had rather not think about who is going to take care of the Solger volume right now, but I see it coming that I will have to pay someone to do the copy editing and translating in order to preserve the time I want to dedicate mainly to writing, e.g. August-October and December-February).

You can count on me to tell you more on the workshop DH Kompetenzzentren and on the Manifesto for young researchers in DH soon, since I spent most of June preparing both. See you soon!