Digital Editions

DH is a field of research where digital methods and tools are combined with the actual questions of humanities, which is obvious, so that is why it is called “Digital Humanities”. Respectively it is easy to answer the question what a Digital Humanist does in one particularly day, namely mixing methods and strategies from two different worlds. However there is one thing which is not that obvious and this is the fact, what impact does this process have to both Information Science and Humanities and even to a scholar who does such kind of research. Arthur-Schnitzler-Project in which I work is one of the typical cases for this. Our tools are digital, our methods gathering or producing input is digital and the output of the project, a historical critical edition, which will be online available and will let the user read the edition selectively and dynamically is also digital. Yet our standards and our claim to create an edition with a sophisticated critical apparatus come from humanities. This is the point where two worlds collide, on the one hand a need to structure the data, to keep it simple and easy searchable, on the other hand a need to be and stay creative, explain und describe new phenomena. And these don’t necessarily fit into the structure which was designed at the beginning. Furthermore there are always special cases or exceptions, which occur only once, which are important, but it is not always reasonable to develop a tool for them. And these are in my opinion topics a digital humanist deals day by day. Good news is, we have developed a series of tools at the Trier center for digital humanities (Academic Director Prof Dr Claudine Moulin) and some of them were specially designed for Arthur Schnitzler Edition. One of them is called transcribo. In the meantime I have designed a program to collate different text versions. And all the data, which we create with these tools are stored on a FuD-Database. We have been working the past year, to develop interfaces so that these tools can communicate with another and to make it able to create a sophisticated critical edition easily, producing our data partly automatically and partly with scholarly manual work.