Overall Approach

Our approach to editing the Viola Muse Collection is driven by two primary concerns: a desire to provide careful witness to the documents and to make those materials as useful as possible to a wide range of audiences. To these ends, we have sought to produce an edition that is focused equally on optimum usability and editorial transparency. Rather than achieving this balance by compromising at some point between the two, our edition maximizes the possibilities for doing both simultaneously. We provide readers with accessible, regularized reading versions of the texts and also the opportunity to trace all of our editorial interventions back to the document images themselves. 

In preparing this edition, we have followed the “Minimum Standards for Electronic Editions,” published by the Association for Documentary Editing (ADE), with respect to topics including digitization and transcription, annotation, accessibility, and documentation. Our approach is also informed by the central principles of adequacy, appropriateness, consistency, and explicitness outlined in the “Guidelines for Editors of Scholarly Editions,” published by the Modern Language Association (MLA) Committee on Scholarly Editions. We have drawn upon the latter document for the considerations it offers with respect to source material, editorial orientation, and audience. Additionally, we have employed its “Guiding Questions for Vetters of Scholarly Editions” as a tool for both planning our project and evaluating our own work. We believe that keeping both the ADE and MLA recommendations in mind is appropriate, as our edition goes beyond a traditional documentary approach. Like many other projects, the Viola Muse Digital Edition reflects the transformations that the digital format has, for many years now, brought to documentary editing.