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Grant number like: HD-50351-08

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Hofstra University (Hempstead, NY 11549-1000)
John L. Bryant (Project Director: October 2007 to September 2010)

Digital Humanities Start-Up Grants
Digital Humanities

[White paper]

$23,591 (approved)
$23,591 (awarded)

Grant period:
3/1/2008 – 2/28/2010

Melville, Revision, and Collaborative Editing: Toward a Critical Archive

The development of the TextLab scholarly editing tool to allow for analysis of texts that exist in multiple versions or editions, beginning with the Melville Electronic Library.

The project is to initiate the Melville Electronic Library (MEL), an online "critical archive" of primary and substantial secondary materials. To promote the collaborative editing of "fluid texts" (works that exist in multiple revised versions), the team will also create a proof of concept of its innovative editorial feature: TextLab. With this tool, groups of scholars or students may download images of Melville manuscripts, transcribe their "revision text," identify revision sites direcly on the image, and link each marked site to the transcription text. The transcription will also be linked to explanatory revision narratives. These procedures will take place in a version control system that enables users to track their own changes to the transcriptions they are collaboratively building. The project's goals are to inaugurate TextLab using samples from Harvard's Houghton Library, organize a meeting of Melville scholars to plan work flow, and write further grant proposals for MEL.