14.0356 errors in e-books & the new modality of scholarship

From: by way of Willard McCarty (willard@lists.village.Virginia.EDU)
Date: 10/15/00

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                   Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 14, No. 356.
           Centre for Computing in the Humanities, King's College London
             Date: Sun, 15 Oct 2000 10:44:27 +0100
             From: cbf@socrates.Berkeley.EDU
             Subject: Re: 14.351 errors in e-books; XML & proprietary formats
    The net makes possible a new modality of scholarship, a modality which
    allows the collaboration of scholars at both the "originating" and
    "receiving" ends to the benefit of the entire scholarly community
    The Virginia e-books project is one such example. Let me offer two more.
    For over twenty years a group of scholars has been engaged in creating a
    union database of the primary sources for medieval Iberian literature
    (Spanish, Catalan, Portuguese) called PhiloBiblon. PhiloBiblon will
    continue for the foreseeable future. Had we decided to wait until the
    database was "finished" our colleagues would not be able to use it until
    some time in the 21st century. We have made it available on CD-ROM and,
    about three years ago, over the net
    In its current version it is both incomplete and inaccurate. We know
    that. Nevertheless, it represents our best efforts and it is still
    useful. As scholars with more specialized knowledge use the database, they
    let us know about errors and provide additional information, whose souce
    we acknowledge.
    Similarly, Columbia and Berkeley have been engaged for the past four years
    on the Digital Scriptorium project (now joined by the Huntington Library,
    New York Public Library, the U. of Texas, and a number of smaller
    institutions), whose purpose is to digitize representative pages from
    _every_ medieval MS in both collections along with as much information as
    we have about each MS. In many cases, especially with regard to fragments,
    we have no idea of the identity of the text. We have chosen to include
    such fragments in the image database to make them as broadly available as
    possible in the hope that specialists will be able to identify them and
    even lead us to other fragments from the same MS.
    The best is the enemy of the good. Even incomplete information is better
    than no information.
    Charles Faulhaber	The Bancroft Library	UC Berkeley, CA 94720-6000
    (510) 642-3782		FAX (510) 642-7589    cfaulhab@library.berkeley.edu

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