3.1278 correcting and scanning (70)

Willard McCarty (MCCARTY@vm.epas.utoronto.ca)
Fri, 6 Apr 90 22:57:25 EDT

Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 3, No. 1278. Friday, 6 Apr 1990.

(1) Date: Thu, 05 Apr 90 07:44:48 EDT (29 lines)
From: Germaine Warkentin <WARKENT@vm.epas.utoronto.ca>
Subject: Correcting e-texts

(2) Date: Fri, 06 Apr 90 09:24:45 EDT (21 lines)
Subject: Scanning Text (OCR)

(1) --------------------------------------------------------------------
Date: Thu, 05 Apr 90 07:44:48 EDT
From: Germaine Warkentin <WARKENT@vm.epas.utoronto.ca>
Subject: Correcting e-texts

Michael Hart observes "one of the greatest advantages of etext is that
the users can easily correct any errors." The implications of this
statement boggle my early-morning mind, and I can comment on only one or
two here. I realize that the notion of an "established" text no longer
has the validity (false, I agree) which it once had. But even those who
are at work editing or studying what are now called "open texts" would,
I believe, insist that responsibility to the original, whatever they
determine that to be, is a scholarly necessity. Hart's concept of text
(which I have been watching with increasing unease in his messages of
recent days) seems to be a very different one, and surely requires
fuller demonstration and careful argument. A second point is the
hopeless lack of practicality in the idea of "each user" correcting
his/her own text. I am editing a seventeenth-century library catalogue
just now which one consultant early on told me should be published only
in facsimile, so each user would be working directly with the text
itself. This approach was unanimously rejected by all others commenting
on the project precisely because it would require each new user to do
again the work already undertaken by others. Michael Hart may possibly
response that I don't quite understand what his etexts are for. No, I
don't. I am a scholarly editor (wearing one of my hats) and I want to
know that I am using texts which are as faithful to the editor's
original (whatever he/she argues that original to be) as careful work
can make them. How about it, Hollander? Germaine Warkentin, Centre for
Reformation and Renaissance Studies, Victoria College, University of
Toronto. (Warkent@utorepas).
(2) --------------------------------------------------------------28----
Date: Fri, 06 Apr 90 09:24:45 EDT
Subject: Scanning Text (OCR)

From: Tzvee Zahavy <MAIC@UMINN1>
> I deeply regret getting started with scanning. In order to have an
> accessible copy of my first book on computer I submitted the printed
> text for Kurzweil scanning at our University computer center. The
> scanned text of 365 pages is such a mess that it is taking about twice
> as much time for me to reformat it as it would have taken had I given
> the book to a secretary to type it directly into the computer.

But for those of use who do not have a secretary or typist to type for us
(or who can afford to pay one out of our own pocket), OCR is the only
viable alternative to retyping the whole manuscript ourselves.

I scanned a 5-page article formatted in two columns last night, and
although I will have to proofread it carefully, I would have had to do that
if I'd had a typist rekey it. What's the difference? I'll tell you: the
typist would have cost me several dollars an hour, and (if a regular
employee) much more than that in benefits.