The "total editing" approach


Read about the origins of the CITE architecture in work on the HMT project.

The Digital Scholarly Edition model

The HMT project is defining new standards for editing texts in a digital environment. The “total editing approach” we have adopted includes the following characteristics:

  1. Explicit model of relations of text to artifact. We are editing specific versions of texts that are preserved for us on specific physical artifacts. It’s essential for us to specify how the text and artifact are related to each.
  2. All observations are expressed using URN notation to refer to citable objects. Our editorial work is not dependent on any particular technology. Our URN notation can be automatically interpreted by software, but can be used by itself outside of any particular technological system.
  3. All observations documented with visual evidence. Editing is an act of interpretation. When we claim we can see or read a text on an artifact, we must support this claim with a citation of the visual evidence on which we base that claim.
  4. We create diplomatic editions. Diplomatic editions record exactly what we read on a text. We do not correct “errors” by the scribe, or try to suggest what we think the “true” reading ought to be. We can only suggest that a reading is in error or should be changed by referring to the text we actually are able to see in our source.
  5. Every textual mark and non-textual graphic mark is accounted for. Our digital edition must represent all the information that the scribes chose to include in the manuscripts. We cannot be selective in what evidence we publish if we aim to understand systematically how the manuscripts were created.

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