9.711 online books

Humanist (mccarty@phoenix.Princeton.EDU)
Wed, 10 Apr 1996 21:35:05 -0400 (EDT)

Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 9, No. 711.
Center for Electronic Texts in the Humanities (Princeton/Rutgers)
Information at http://www.princeton.edu/~mccarty/humanist/

[1] From: Willard McCarty <mccarty@epas.utoronto.ca> (67)
Subject: online books

[2] From: Robert Kraft <kraft@ccat.sas.upenn.edu> (25)
Subject: Re: 9.708 online books?

[3] From: Haradda@aol.com (6)
Subject: Re: 9.708 online books?

Date: Wed, 10 Apr 1996 20:25:46 -0400
From: Willard McCarty <mccarty@epas.utoronto.ca>
Subject: online books

I have received so far the following two responses to Humanist 9.708,
querying the existence of online scholarly books, even (with provocation
aforethought) the advisability of attempting online book production. I would
very much appreciate more examples and more thought on the topic.

In my query I made some noise about "scholarly" e-books precisely because
I wanted to exclude the mass-publication efforts of projects such as
Gutenberg. I would like to make a list of works that have passed or would
pass muster in the conventional sense.


*Date: Wed, 10 Apr 1996 10:46:40 -0400
*From: "C. Perry Willett" <pwillett@indiana.edu>


I'm directing a project to create electronic editions of
works by 19th C. British women writers (Victorian Women Writers
Project <URL http://www.indiana.edu/~letrs/vwwp>). I have tried
to create transcriptions of these works with the highest possible
editorial standards. I'm not sure that this is what you have in
mind with your question, but I think our experience points to
some reasons for online books that you didn't list in your
preliminary discussion.
We've chosen some lesser known writers, and each of the works
is "accessed" (whatever that may mean) at least 30-40 times a month,
and some as many as 300 times. I realized after starting this project
that many of these works are not readily available even at the largest
research libraries, so that one of the main benefits of the project (and
the medium) is to democratize access. Once there is a large enough
corpus of scholarly materials available, a student or researcher will
no longer have to be at one of the great centers of learning to find
rare or obscure publications. Also, I think the medium creates its own
demand, so that people who had never heard of any of these writers are
curious to read them simply because they are now so easily available.
So I think that there is a reason to have books available online, and
not just reference books.

Perry Willett
Main Library
Indiana University

*Date: Wed, 10 Apr 1996 10:46:52 -0400
*From: exempla@nervm.nerdc.ufl.edu
*Subject: Your survey

In response to your query of 9 April, I am sending the following
information. I hope it proves useful.

IN LATE MEDIEVAL POETRY (1983) is available as an electronic postprint at


It can also be accessed through the Labyrinth at


AND THE GREEN KNIGHT" will also be available as a postprint on my WebPage.

Thank you,
Al Shoaf

R. Allen Shoaf
Alumni Professor of English
University of Florida
President, The Howe Society of the Smathers Libraries, University of Florida
Senior Editor, EXEMPLARIA
Page Manager, LABYRINTH Scholarly Publications:
FAX 352.392-0860
VOICE 352.371-7149; 392-5299

Date: Tue, 9 Apr 1996 22:38:07 -0400 (EDT)
From: Robert Kraft <kraft@ccat.sas.upenn.edu>
Subject: Re: 9.708 online books?

Your question about online books, Willard, remains too ambiguous with
regards to what you would call a previous published (in hard copy) book
that is now (1) replicated, to the extent that is possible or practical,
in electronic form, or (2) modified -- a new edition -- in electronic
form. I mention this because some years ago I decided to put all my
previous publications into electronic form (sort of an
auto-festschrift), and am still in the process of completing that plan.
But it means that W. Bauer's Orthodoxy and Heresy in Earliest
Christianity is available, and will receive some updating attention as
time allows (I use it every other year in a graduate course on Varieties
of Early Christianity), and that my translation and commentary on
Barnabas and the Didache is partly available, with the remaining parts
needing some touchup. My PhD dissertation is in raw form, needing much
more work, and my MA thesis as well, neither of which was formally
published originally (Harvard PhD dissertations don't go to University
Microfilms even, although microfilm is available from Harvard).

On another front, my genealogical hobby, I obtained an electronic
replication of a 4 volume biographical dictionary of colonial Americans,
and caused the hundreds of corrections and additions to be integrated
into the text, thus making a much more convenient edition out of the
previously published materials. That is present on the CCAT gopher,
along with my own stuff (to the extent that it is released).

To see the results, one can go through my home page, or go directly to
the ccat.sas.upenn.edu gopher, under electronic publications.

Bob Kraft, UPenn

Date: Wed, 10 Apr 1996 01:51:43 -0400
From: Haradda@aol.com
Subject: Re: 9.708 online books?

There are all kinds of etext "books" at Project Gutenberg (They are up to
about 550 about now). Some which actually have copywrites. Look at the
various libraries at the etext books page at Carnegie Mellon. The etext
libraries on the web are in the range of 2-3 thousand etext listings. And
about 60% of them are in the HTML format which I can't stand. I''m glad that
they are increasing 3 to 4 per day. Hope that this helps.