‘Digital editions of artists’ writings: first Van Gogh, then Mondrian’.
Six years ago the digital edition of Vincent van Gogh’s complete correspondence was published. Although it was not the first digital edition of artists’ letters on the web, it was certainly unique for its comprehensiveness and for the widely acclaimed user interface and functionality. Ironically, the original aim of the Van Gogh Letters Project, which started in 1994, was a traditional printed publication that would have comprised 12 to 14 volumes.
The decision to make this fundamental change of medium wasn’t taken lightly and followed after a long process of insecurity, research and adaptations in several respects. This talk will look back on this process, on the role of the editors in it, and on its outcome.
To close, lessons learned will be considered with regard to the recently launched Mondrian Edition Project, which in its turn aspires to be innovative in the field of digital editing of artists’ writings.
Leo Jansen studied Dutch Language and Literature at the University of Utrecht where he specialized in 19th and 20th-century literature and scholarly editing. From 1994 till 2009 he was an editor of the Van Gogh Letters Project, the result of which was published in October 2009 as a digital edition on the internet entitled Vincent van Gogh, The Letters (www.vangoghletters.org; awarded by Europa Nostra), as well as in a six volume printed edition. From December 2005 till April 2014 he was the Van Gogh Museum’s curator of paintings. As of May 2014 he’s a researcher at Huygens ING, The Hague (Royal Academy of Arts and Sciences, in collaboration with RKD – Netherlands Institute for Art History), preparing a digital publication of Piet Mondrian’s complete correspondence and theoretical writings.
‘TEI challenges in an accelerating digital world’
Whereas the management of scholarly texts and digital editions of primary sources remain the focus of the TEI guidelines, the comprehensive and flexible framework provided by the TEI has led some more — for the TEI — peripheral communities to take up the guidelines as their basis for the representation of their back-office content. One interesting example is probably scientific and technical information where the need of interoperability across several document types (standards, publications and patents) as well as document sources (authors or publishers) can be well accommodated using the TEI framework, under the condition that some additional mechanisms, but also occasionally a change in the underlying textual model, is operated within the guidelines. Using the domains of terminology and stand-off annotation as on-going I will exemplify the corresponding challenges and reflect upon on-going relevant implementations.
Laurent Romary, Directeur de Recherche at INRIA, carries out research on the modelling of semi-structured documents, with a specific emphasis on texts and linguistic resources, and since many years he has played a leading role in standardisation activities on language resourceat large. In ISO, he has been the editor of ISO standard 16642 (TMF – Terminological Markup Framework) and since 2002 is the chairman of ISO committee TC 37/SC 4 on Language Resource Management. He has been member (2001-2007) then chair (2008- 2011) of the TEI (Text Encoding Initiative) council. In the recent years, he lead the Scientific Information directorate at CNRS (2005-2006) and established the Max-Planck Digital Library (sept. 2006-dec. 2008). He currently contributes to the establishment and coordination, as director, of the European DARIAH infrastructure.
‘Beyond the brackets: The value and impact of digital editing methods to scholarly production and knowledge exchange’
The “Digital Humanities” is currently attracting a great deal of attention, with more and more academic and popular engagement in the creation and use of digital content. This talk will consider the wider discussion: how engagement with information and communication technologies is transforming knowledge in the arts, humanities and cultural heritage sectors. Where does digital editing sit in the wider debate about what Digital Humanities is, and where does it sit within the scholarly ecosystem? What is the wider impact of digital text editing? What insights does it create into the nature and organization of humanities source materials? What can it contribute to a critical appraisal of the digital as a major shift in cultural production and the creation and communication of knowledge?
Professor Lorna M. Hughes is Chair in Digital Collections at the School of Advanced Study, University of London. Her research covers the use of digital tools and methods for the analysis of large-scale digital collections, with a focus on collaborations between humanities and scientific disciplines. She is the author of Digitizing Collections: Strategic Issues for the Information Manager (London: Facet, 2004), the editor of Evaluating & Measuring the Value, Use and Impact of Digital Collections (London: Facet, 2011), and the co-editor of The Virtual Representation of the Past (London: Ashgate, 2007). She is the Chair of the European Science Foundation (ESF) Network for Digital Methods in the Arts and Humanities (www.nedimah.eu). Other notable digital projects include the AHRC-funded The Snows of Yesteryear: Narrating Extreme Weather (eira.llgc.org.uk) and the Jisc-funded The Welsh Experience of the First World War (cymruww1.llgc.org.uk).