edition (scholarly)

I should like to use the name scholarly edition for editions which preserve or rescue a work of artistic, social, intellectual, or historical importance as an artifact (Shillingsburg 1986, 4).

I should like to use the name scholarly edition for editions that preserve or rescue a work of artistic, social, intellectual, or historical importance as an artifact (Shillingsburg 1996, 3).

Scholarly edition. An edition with texts established and verified according to the standards of the academic community. Such editions are also often referred to as authoritative (Kline 1998, 273).

By scholarly edition, I mean the establishment of a text on explicitly stated principles and by someone with specialized knowledge about textual scholarship and the writer or writers involved. An edition is scholarly both because of the rigor with which the text is reproduced or altered and because of the expertise brought to bear on the task and in the offering of suitable introductions, notes, and textual apparatus. Mere digitizing produces information; in contrast, scholarly editing produces knowledge (Price 2007, 345).

In general outline, a scholarly edition is the presentation of a text – literary, historical, philosophical, juridical – or of a work (mainly, a work of literature) in its often enough several texts, through the agency of an editor in lieu of the author of the text, or work. We see the editor as ‘agency’, functionary and guardian of the lifeline between work (or text) and author (Gabler 2010, 44).

The base line of my understanding of the scholarly edition is that it is a web of discourses. These discourses are interrelated and of equal standing. They are constituted, as discourses, by the editor, or team of editors, who provide as well as guarantee the edition’s coherence and intellectual focus. With their name or names, too, the editor or editors publicly assume responsibility for the construct of the edition as a whole.
Not an overly spectacular definition, perhaps. Yet looked at closely, it may be seen to turn the traditional sense of editions on its head by making not author and text, but the editor pivotal to an edition (Gabler 2010, 44-45).

It is worth noting, however, that the term “scholarly edition” is a wider one [than “critical” edition]. It also embraces editions that exclude critical determination in favor of reproducing uncritically the texts of existing documents (Eggert 2013, 104).

A scholarly edition is an information resource which offers a critical representation of (normally) historical documents or texts (Sahle 2014).

A scholarly edition is a publication that provides an important work of literature or historical document that has been prepared by experts in the field. These can be in print or digital forms (or a combination of the two). An example of a scholarly edition in print would be a volume of a play by Shakespeare that includes a long introduction, lots of footnotes or endnotes and variants of the text. Scholarly editions in digital form generally serve the same purpose as the print editions but can provide other features such as including digitised images of original manuscript documents, a search functionality and it can have interactive elements such as maps and videos. Digital editions have less restrictions in terms of space, so they can sometimes include a large collection of texts at which point it may be called a digital archive (Kelly 2015, 125).

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