General Approach

Our approach to editing this collection is driven by two concerns: a desire to provide careful witness to the documents and to make those documents as useful as possible to a wide range of audiences. To these ends, we are producing 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 do so by providing 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 transcription and digitization, source notes, annotation and accessibility. 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 draw upon the latter document for the considerations it offers with respect to source material, editorial orientation, and audience. Additionally, we are employing its “Guiding Questions for Vetters of Scholarly Editions” as a tool for both planning our project and evaluating our own work. We believe that it is appropriate to keep both the ADE and MLA recommendations in mind, as our edition goes beyond a traditional documentary approach. Like many other projects, our edition reflects the transformations that the digital format has, for many years now, brought to documentary editing.