Monday, June 2, 2008

Fw: [wwa-changelog] Response 2 to: fixing a date and recording source on a Russian ...


Ok, agreed.  We should make explicit the source of our texts.  Liz, when you get back to work, could you coordinate a meeting with me, Brett, and Stacey (if she's working at that time), and we can figure out the policy issues and a (necessarily gradual) workplan for getting this done?  Best,


----- Forwarded by Kenneth M Price/English/UNL/UNEBR on 06/02/2008 04:34 PM -----
whitmanarchive <>

06/02/2008 02:34 PM

[wwa-changelog] Response to: fixing a date and recording source on a Russian ...


Regarding Ken's observation that the information about the source copy for our Russian translation isn't readily available to users, I agree that that's a bad thing and further agree that it's a problem elsewhere on the Archive. In fact, off the top of my head I can only think of one section of the Archive where we give that kind of information: the volumes of With Walt Whitman in Camden. There, the index page has a link to "credits and edtion information," which has something like "The copy-text for this digital edition was the copy of With Walt Whitman in Camden, vol. _ (pubPlace: publisher, 19__) held by Duke University Libraries." Even this, though, might not pinpoint the source copy enough, since it doesn't make absolutely explicit whether the transcriptions were done by consulting the hard copy directly or (as I suspect) in at least some cases by looking at a scanned image or photocopy, etc. Also, if there are multiple copies of a given volume at the Duke library (and maybe even if there aren't) the unique call number for the copy used would be the logical way to disambiguate.

Ken's right, I think, that a version of information about copytext is in the teiHeader, at least in many cases--I'm thinking here of the bit in the <sourceDesc> that says something like "Transcribed from our own digital image of the original manuscript". But even with things like the periodical printings and the manuscript transcriptions we don't display that text to the user. Here again, there might also be an arugment that even if we make that text visible the information isn't as full as it should be anyway--nothing about how the digital image was obtained, for example. I'm not sure whether that kind of information might be most properly added to the <sourceDesc> or put in an either an <encodingDesc>, or a <profileDesc> (neither of which elements we are in the habit of using).

In short, I'd say that we should work to make clear the specific source of our texts across the Archive, and I'd note that that includes the following sections:

  • reviews
  • contemporary criticism
  • Leaves & foreign ed'ns.
  • disciples' texts such as Good Gray Poet & Notes on WW
  • periodical printings
  • poetry MSS
  • correspondence
  • gallery (possibly)
  • articles about the Archive

It seems to me that this is a reasonably big task, not just because it's a lot of different texts/sections, but because there are several different places that the information might appear and it would behoove us to think about where to put it in connection with values such as consistency, simplicity, etc.

~ Brett

Posted By whitmanarchive to
wwa-changelog at 6/02/2008 01:54:00 PM

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