Documentary and Critical Editions

Mary-Jo Kline’s A Guide to Documentary Editing has been a standard for years. Even in earlier editions of the book she noted the coming of the the e-edition and despite all the questions of permanence, distribution and accessibility, it, and its associated new techniques, will be a dominant force in the world of editing. I think it’s possible that it will replace print in that genre. The recent announcement of Scholarly Editing in electronic form only and by necessity the same for its content shows how far we have come. New editing software based in html, xml, LaTeX and so on brings both new and old formats to bear.

I like a wonderful cloth-bound-quality-paper book as much as the next person. But the day of low demand dense textual scholarship finding an exclusive place in that format seems to be at an end. Better get used to it folks.

With much of the grub work on chapter 10 of the book nearly finished, I’m contemplating what might come for publication. There is still considerable work ahead in checking documents, fleshing out sermon edition notes and then there are formatting issues I’ve put off in a few of the later chapters <grin>. What is the future then? I’ll probably try shopping some chapters around. But there are matters I don’t want to compromise on. One of those is formatting and facsimiles. To say nothing of color. I wonder.

In the meantime, over at BCC I’ll have a pre-conference series running: The Presiding Bishopric. Starting on the 18th and running about every two days in 6 parts. It has some fun stuff from the Joseph Smith Papers.

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4 Responses to Documentary and Critical Editions

  1. J. Stapley says:

    The thing about the old cloth-bound volumes is that I generally can muster the volition to read through them. I have to admit that I tend to get lazy with digital transcripts and either skip ahead to areas of interest or data mine. While you can do things in the lattter that you can’t with the former (unless one has more time than is humanly possible), you lose alot without working through every scrap of the documents. As a side note, have you talked to the JSPP crew? It would be cool if they were willing to do a condensed version of your work, much like they are doing with skousen.

    • WVS says:

      I think I have the same issues, J. But with a technical work, I imagine it may be more useful with electronic form.

  2. David G. says:

    I’m excited about the Presiding Bishopric series. Will you be starting with the emergence of the office of Bishop first?

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