Skip to main content
Article thumbnail
Location of Repository

Putting the Text back into Context: A Codicological\ud Approach to Manuscript Transcription

By Elena Pierazzo and Peter A. Stokes


Textual scholars have tended to produce editions which present the text without its\ud manuscript context. Even though digital editions now often present single-witness\ud editions with facsimiles of the manuscripts, nevertheless the text itself is still transcribed\ud and represented as a linguistic object rather than a physical one. Indeed, this is explicitly\ud stated as the theoretical basis for the de facto standard of markup for digital texts: the\ud Guidelines of the Text Encoding Initiative (TEI). These explicitly treat texts as semantic\ud units such as paragraphs, sentences, verses and so on, rather than physical elements\ud such as pages, openings, or surfaces, and some scholars have argued that this is the only\ud viable model for representing texts. In contrast, this chapter presents arguments for\ud considering the document as a physical object in the markup of texts. The theoretical\ud arguments of what constitutes a text are first reviewed, with emphasis on those used\ud by the TEI and other theoreticians of digital markup. A series of cases is then given in\ud which a document-centric approach may be desirable, with both modern and medieval\ud examples. Finally a step forward in this direction is raised, namely the results of\ud the Genetic Edition Working Group in the Manuscript Special Interest Group of the\ud TEI: this includes a proposed standard for documentary markup, whereby aspects of\ud codicology and mise en page can be included in digital editions, putting the text back\ud into its manuscript context

Topics: ddc:004, ddc:020, ddc:900
Publisher: Books on Demand (BoD)
Year: 2011
OAI identifier:

Suggested articles

To submit an update or takedown request for this paper, please submit an Update/Correction/Removal Request.