Roberto RosselliDelTurco, The Battle We Forgot to Fight: Should We Make a Case for Digital Editions?

Several years after the publication of P. Robinson’s provocative essay on the status of digital editions (Robinson 2005) many new editions have been produced, but very little seems to have changed with regard to their acceptance and diffusion among ‘traditional’ scholars: especially in non-Anglo-Saxon countries, many colleagues are sticking to usual practices and producing printed editions; others are starting to look into the Digital Humanities field, but are sometimes scared away by what is perceived as ‘technical complexity’, the amount of learning required to use digital tools and methods. There surely is a growth in interest for tools allowing to create an edition (text encoding, web publication), or to help the philologist in doing part of the hard work (semi-automatic collation), but are these really related to what a digital edition should and could be? Especially when they are often used to produce printed ones. Furthermore, the fact that there is no definite consensus about what a ‘digital edition’ is or should be is definitely not helping, methodological uncertainty adds to technical complexity and fragmentation to form a formidable access barrier. Should we encode less and agree on a precise definition, then, and make the point in favor of the digital edition with renewed energy and in no ambiguous terms? In this article I will try to survey the status quo of the digital philology discipline and expose the major roadblocks towards greater acceptance of digital editions. Source: http://hdl.handle.net/2318/1630456

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