Digital Bundle

Here are links to digital editions that were mentioned in the course of the day:

Klagenfurt edition of the works of Robert Musil
Chinese Buddhist Electronic Text Association (CBETA) – in the Chinese Buddhist version!
Letters of Van Gogh (ah, the Van Gogh letters!)
Mark Twain Project (Autobiography of Mark Twain)
Henrik Ibsen’s Writings (Maximum Edition online, Minimum available in print)
Edition project of the Works of Thomas Le Roy (still virtual, presented here)
Digital Edition of Slowenian Literature
The Homer Multitext Project

And I came accross the Catalog of the Scholarly Digital Editions while browsing.

Digital Editions Session Part 1

The presentation of Marie Bisson’s project of a Digital Edition of works by Thomas Le Roy was interesting to me especially because it is still pretty virtual – just like our project, still ringing with several layers of technicalities before you can really say what it is going to look like. But the added value of comparing 3 versions of not so identical texts seems to appeal to the more experienced colleagues in the room.

I could see that Marie Bisson chose to have the values of her tags in French. We decided to switch from German to English in our own tagging at a pretty early stage for reasons of readability of the xml-file. I will have to ask Marie Bisson why she kept the French…(the only presentation of the project you can find only is also in French)

And now to Faust: a titanic project at last!!
The first paper by Gerrit Brüning and Katrin Henzel presented the multiple encoding of the same information as 2 sides of the same medal. In this huge genetic edition, textual and documentary transcript are kept in different files containing different markups (markup rules are documented on a wikipage). In order to synchronize contents, an algorithm was developed to ensure automatic collation. Gregor Middell and Moritz Wissenbach then went into the technicalities. Looks like the Faust editors do not only know some mephistophelian tricks, but also Chapter 20 of the Guidelines almost by heart.

It is impressive how the several work steps are being identified to reach the publishing objectives. Obviously, as the speakers mentioned, it is NOT something you can try at home by yourself but need some serious institutional backup to realize.

During the discussion, Werner Wegstein asked an interesting question (at least interesting for us) about the different scripts (ha!) but I was pretty disappointed by the complicated answer (still no clear solution for us in sight…)

Live from Würzburg: Blue, Red, Green, Yellow, Black Dariah

In the first session (birds singing and sun shining outside), Armin Volkmann and Christof Schöch presented DARIAH and some of its subprojects. The beauty of European projects is in general the complexity of the structure they develop in order to involve the different partners – and the acronyms they use. DARIAH does makes not exception – the bubbles and arrows showing the whole structure are colorful and complex – an administrative wonder if there ever was one.

One first big project they mentioned is the one working on standardizing metadata. In the course of the discussion, it turned out to be still pretty virtual, but it really is the kind of things that one can only hope will not remain virtual.

Quoting from Martin Müller’s letter, they presented several DARIAH projects working on developing TEI-aware tools. Christof mentioned to me later interesting projects like MONK and TXM textométrie that work in that sense.

On the question of community building (one of the aims of DARIAH), they suggested creating a Wikipedia portal. Although I am not sure which kind of crowd you can actually gather this way, it will surely reach a wider range of people.

Discussion also revolved around the question of the format of membership to the TEI-consortium. Although Martin Müller is not here, obviously his letter and the issues it raises are quite present.

Live from Würzburg: forget about smoked bacon chocolate!

After hours of not coming forward with the delightful Deutsche Bahn between Berlin and Würzburg, it was just awesome to reach Würzburg at last in spite of the pouring rain. It was in fact pouring digital humanists in the small Poppular Hotel and the receptionist welcomed us with a “What is digital philology anyway?” – I am very grateful to Sabine to have answered this not so easy question – and probably the whole DTA waiting right after us to get the keys to their rooms was just as grateful – what a delight to be in Würzburg at last AND to be asked just the right questions!

It was an even bigger delight to attend – just on time – the keynote by Edward Vanhoutte. There was a chocolate degustation involved, but it is not the only reason why the talk was a delight. In fact, if you haven’t done it yet, don’t eat the 4th of the chocolates. I for myself obediently consumed all 5 when advised to, which caused a subsequent lasting ebriety since you are, after 5 pieces of chocolate, so desperately thirsty that you just have to taste the wine you are being offered… Apart from the chocolate for the palate, it was music to my ears, too, to hear him plead in favor of an extensive teaching of XML after the TEI-guidelines. That’s just what we do! – and, if I may add, the students are absolutely receptive for it, and not at all reluctant to put into it all the necessary effort (though I suspect it is just not so much of an overwhelming effort to them that to us people over 30 years of age just used to traditional philology).

More thoughts on that when reason has overcome Riesling… In the meantime, you can consult Edward Vanhoutte’s blog.