Digital Humanities Abstracts

“The Academy Electronic Editions of Australian Literature”
Chris Tiffin English Department, Australian Defence Force Academy Paul Eggert English Department, Australian Defence Force Academy Graham Barwell English Department, University of Wollongong

The Academy Editions of Australian Literature based in Canberra, Australia, are a series of classic Australian texts made available in electronic form for the literary scholar. The Editions assume a conservative model of reading - that the texts were intended to be read sequentially, and are still most successfully read in that way. We do not believe that by encoding the texts electronically we are developing fundamentally new methods of cognition, erasing Gutenberg, or establishing world peace and democracy in the late capitalist era. However, electronic presentation offers the scholar powerful opportunities for circumventing the limitations of the unitary version, and the Academy Electronic Editions allow the juxtaposition of all lifetime states of the text in both searchable text and digitized image forms as well as a critically-edited version. Electronic format also allows the presentation of a large range of secondary material from explanatory notes, maps, and contemporary book reviews to modern stage and film adaptations, and the AEEs exploit this ability to store and navigate compendious archival material. The pilot of this collaborative project has taken two texts, one a single version manuscript journal and the other a multi-version novel with major variation between the versions to identify and solve the theoretical and practical problems in encoding the versions with TEI-SGML for display, mapping them to digitized images, and developing a working electronic book of a section of each text.