Digital Quarto Editions

I received an email from Brett D. Hirsch (of Werewolf-fame). He is a PhD student writing on early modern drama at the University of Western Australia, and is working on an interesting project. Digital Quarto Editions digitizes Elizabethan and Jacobean plays in plain-text while retaining the original spelling, formatting, and page/folio/signature references for scholarly use.

While most English and American scholars of early modern drama probably have access to EEBO, which provides PDF files containing facsimiles of early modern texts, others do not have such facilities (I don’t, for one). Brett’s idea is to transcribe quarto editions of plays with attention to all the original formatting and to make them publicly available to scholars world-wide. He plans to include canonical as well as more obscure verse drama in the database, and is looking for scholars who would like to contribute, either by transcribing a text themselves, or by proofreading plays that others have submitted. I think it is a great idea.

If you are interested to contribute, more information and Brett’s contact details can be found at Digital Quarto Editions.


2 thoughts on “Digital Quarto Editions

  1. Google, who repeatedly claim to want to make texts available freely online, could simply purchase the rights to EEBO and the other, similar databases that so many scholars are locked out of, and make them freely available, instead of re-scanning the same works again.

  2. But surely EEBO wouldn’t sell the rights to publish their scanned texts, unless Google were prepared to pay a truly huge sum that compensated EEBO’s loss of income? Or is there a catch?

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