Introduction by OpenMethods Editor (Delfim Leão): The post discusses the challenges that traditional philological approach has to face in creating digital corpora of critical editions of nonvernacular medieval works.
Digital philology has produced a wide range of new methods and formats for editing and analyzing medieval texts. The provision of digital facsimiles has put the manuscripts, the very material base of any editorial endeavor, into focus again. Several editions have been created that engage primarily with individual manuscripts; others have posited a wide range of variance as a central characteristic of medieval literature instead of relegating variants to the footnotes of a historically normalized and regularized texts or speculative reconstructions of archetypes and authorities.
Nevertheless, the idea of a critical text, especially of nonvernacular medieval works, does not yet seem to be obsolete. Quite the opposite: the number of digital facsimiles of manuscripts and early print books and the quantity of document-oriented transcriptions available online is growing continually, and with it the need for critically examined and edited texts increases.
Original publication date: 10/2017.