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A Matter of Fact: on transmission ideals
University of Borås, Swedish School of Library and Information Science.
2008 (English)Conference paper, (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Scholarly editing based on textual criticism means examining a bulk of documents and their texts, clustering these around the abstract notion of a work, arranging them in a web of relations and trying to represent this web in the scholarly edition, a surrogate purporting to represent the work. The way the edition positions the documents to the work, and itself as mediator between them, is affected by such factors as ideology, epistemology, aim and function, tradition, and supporting and distributing media. Scholarly editions are to some extent hermeneutical documents and subjective interpretations, in two senses: they carry with them a history of ideology and a hermeneutical heritage, and they also exert an interpretative influence over the objects they are designed to manage. Nevertheless editions have a strong tradition of conveying a sense of value-free objectivity, a mere recording of (matters of) fact. Charles Bazerman has observed that ”... to write science is commonly thought not to write at all, just simply to record the natural facts." This is a scientific legacy within scholarly editing as well. Further, the transmission that both scholarly editors and e.g. digitizers at libraries are engaged in when transferring a perceived content (such as 'text') from one document to another, can be differently recognized by the 'transmittors' as media models, i.e. as either: 1/ context-free content delivery, or 2/ interpretative and tool-dependent content manipulation, or 3/ a process that is defined by a context-dependent and content-circulating ecosystem of media. As a consequence, scholarly editing is historically a field where conflicting ideals battle: on the one hand, the ideal that the edition (bordering on 'archive') should strive for total exhaustiveness, uniformity, perfect mimetics and universal tools; on the other, that editions should recognize and be valued for their authority to select and deselect, explain and interpret, define and constitute. This paper will looks at some of these models and ideals that might seem to be in conflict, and specifically discusses to what extent they are prolonged or even boosted (= tradition), or perhaps changed or even annihilated (= innovation) within the realm of digital scholarly editing. And if the two fields of scholarly editing and library activities (such as digitization and metadata scheme production) are increasingly brough closer to one another, how does that development fit with the aforementioned models and ideals?

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2008.
Keyword [en]
digitization
National Category
Information Studies Cultural Studies
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:hb:diva-5969Local ID: 2320/4099OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hb-5969DiVA: diva2:886652
Conference
Text comparison and digital creativity: International KNAW colloquium on the 'co-production of presence and meaning' in digital text scholarship
Available from: 2015-12-22 Created: 2015-12-22 Last updated: 2017-01-22Bibliographically approved

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Citation style
  • apa
  • harvard1
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
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Language
  • de-DE
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  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
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Output format
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