Project Archive: Transforming Humanities Texts: Open Editions Built For and With Students

This is a snapshot of project information archived on 2 September 2022. Please contact the project team for most recent updates.

Transforming Humanities Texts: Open Editions Built For and With Students

Subject: Post-secondary Education

Book Language: English

Audience: Faculty teaching humanities courses and their students

Book Cover:

Created date: March 3, 2021

Updated date: June 16, 2022

Target Release Date: 2022-05-16


  • Attribution


  • Contributors
  • Followers


Key Features

This project is intentionally open-ended/never complete.

Faculty produce editions for use in courses and, through a series of assignments, faculty and students increase and improve the editions by producing new introductory materials, suggesting better structure, and crafting more helpful notes. One might peruse the collection as it grows through multiple interfaces: one organizes texts according to where they are in their editorial process, another organizes texts chronologically, still another situates texts on a map according to place of publication.

Documentary Editions

We’re producing documentary editions, which means that the person initiating an edition selects a specific physical copy of their chosen text to represent digitally. This is done to remind students that the texts they are reading have existed in many different editions since the date of first publication. By setting aside the emphasis on an authoritative critical edition (which usually comes complete with annotations representing the pinnacle of scholarly thinking at the moment it was published), these editions put students in a position to explore these texts alongside their instructors to ask questions and decide afresh how they might be relevant to their lives.

Short Description:

This project brings open pedagogy into conversation with scholarly editing to support humanities courses in disciplines including philosophy, literature, history, modern languages, and anthropology. It is designed to encourage rigorous (also, authentic and enjoyable) reading experiences for students. Our goal is to build documentary editions that grow and change to incorporate the work of the students who read and investigate them. A robust set of faculty resources—assignment templates, technical guidance, and workshops—will encourage adopters and adapters of editions to experiment. Learning the principles of scholarly editing (including markup languages like HTML, markdown, and XML) is liberating, and can fundamentally change the way one teaches with texts. If you already believe this and/or have a project you’d like to share, please get in touch about joining the team. If you’re intrigued but the idea of markup languages sounds a bit intimidating, please stay tuned–this is for you!



-Will include the following (and more, I am sure)

-Your Public Self: Thinking through Audiences for Your Work

-Open Licensing: How Does Your Work Build on Existing Open Work?

-Responding to the Text with Initial Annotations

-Crafting Annotations for an Audience

-Writing an Editorial Introduction

Find Your Text

Will include the following guidance:

-Documentary Editions, Diplomatic Editions

-Who digitizes texts and where do I find them?

-What is Optical Character Recognition (OCR)?

-Using Zotero to Craft a Source Description

Produce Your Edition

Will include the following…

-Getting started within a CMS (Wordpress, Pressbooks, etc.)

-An Edition template

Revise Your Edition

-Incorporating Student Work Into Your Edition

-Version Control with GitHub

-Markup Languages and Why You Might Want to Learn Them

-Platforms We’ve Tried and Like (and guidance on getting started)