Espen Ore, Monkey Business—or What is an Edition?

Abstract provided by the author: Digital editions make it possible to create a collection of all existing copies of a text including digital facsimiles. Is this a problem if it means that there will be editions that are in fact collections of full variant texts with no selected or edited reading text? This paper argues that both archival editions with digital facsimiles and encoded source texts (digital diplomatic editions) and digital critical texts can and must exist side by side. It is also suggested that from high quality diplomatically encoded source texts it is possible to automatically extract texts that either directly or with some further encoding/editing can function as a base text for editions of different types and which build on different editorial philosophies. The editions produced at the Wittgenstein Archives in Bergen and in the project Henrik Ibsen’s Writings in Oslo are used as examples of projects supporting the author’s arguments.

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