The second AustESE Workshop will be held on 3 October 2013, welcoming many of the participants from the first workshop in Sydney, and a number of new faces. We’ll be testing out the AustESE Workbench with examples from the works of Henry Lawson, Katharine Susannah Prichard, Joseph Conrad, Walt Whitman, and others. The workshop will test all of the components of the Workbench, preparing for the final refinements scheduled for the last months of 2013.
Components of the AustESE Workbench have been delivered to the SandBox for testing and ongoing refinement. They have now been integrated into a workflow that satisfies the needs of a scholarly editor as they step through the tasks required to produce a scholarly edition. We chose Drupal to support registration, access and roles within established workflow patterns that can be adapted to suit the specialised workflows of scholarly editing.
At some time, somebody will decide that the editions of a particular work available for study are inadequate or corrupt, thereby necessitating a new edition. Planning and funding applications might ensue in some cases, but others might proceed more directly and declare that a Project has begun without seeking further support. In the AustESE Workbench, this will mean registering for a user account and then creating a New Project, initiating project management modules that enable the Project Owner to invite collaborators, assign tasks, and monitor progress.
Managing Permissions in the AustESE WorkBench
One of the first tasks of a scholarly editing project will be the search for legitimate versions of a work in manuscripts, periodicals, books and other media. In the AustESE data model, these can be described as Artefacts, Versions, and Works. In addition, the Artefacts can be described as products of particular Events (eg composition, serialisation, edition/impression) and the Agents of change (eg authors, editors, printers) can be asserted through their role in these Events.
In information fields drawn from established principles of bibliographical description, single Artefacts (eg manuscripts, magazines, books) can be further described. This phase of description can be deferred until a later time if the bibliographical detail is not available.
Production of digital surrogates for original materials is necessary to populate the digital archive that forms the foundation of an electronic scholarly edition. The AustESE Workbench includes a transcription editor to enable corrections to be made, but for this version of the AustESE Workbench it is expected that most transcriptions will be conducted externally. It is also expected that image processing of photographs of original material will be conducted externally. The current version of the AustESE Workbench does not include an OCR module, but such a feature could be integrated in the future.
Accurate transcriptions of original materials satisfy the archival impulse, but if a scholarly editor decides, through comprehensive examination of the original materials and editorial judgement, that all versions are inadequate or corrupt, a new ‘corrected’ version of the work can be produced with the transcription editor of the AustESE Workbench. Added to the archive of transcriptions and, subsequently, to the versions compared within a Multi-Version Document, the editor’s version can be compared with previous versions and its validity assessed by other readers and editors.
Editing and Creating Transcriptions.
Any description previously deferred can be conducted during the upload of digital surrogates to the repository. The description of images can be conducted in batches in order to efficiently describe the sheets and pages as parts of an Artefact, or, alternatively, sheets or pages can be described in isolation to capture unique elements. Collections of digital surrogates are linked to the appropriate Artefact, incorporating each item of a collection as Part of the Artefact. Text and image alignment can also be conducted, preparing the archive of digital surrogates for viewing in a variety of ways, including a customisable Reading View designed for both editors and readers.
To visualise the textual variation between different versions, the AustESE Workbench employs the Multi-Version Documents tool. Versions can be read side-by-side or in a table view. Images can be compared by sending files to a Lightbox.
MVD: Side-by-side view.
Once digital surrogates have been uploaded, described and made available for comparison, the archive is now ready for analysis and editing to proceed. One of the fundamental tools of scholarship is annotation. AustESE facilitates this by providing an annotation tool that extends Annotator, first developed by the Open Knowledge Foundation. Annotations can be attached by registered users to transcriptions and images anywhere in the archive, and these annotations can be subsequently viewed wherever the target can be viewed in the AustESE Workbench. Annotations can be searched and filtered by category, creator and tag. In the Reading View, Annotations are accessible in a handy, collapsible tab-view that can also be filtered by category, creator and tag.
The Annotation tool supports collaborative interpretation and protects intellectual property by attributing authorship with time and date stamp.
Project owners control access to their project and so their work is published when access to the archive is enabled. But some Project owners might have different outcomes in mind (eg print publication, external web-site), and so the need to publish becomes the need to EXPORT. The AustESE Project aims to support export in a variety of formats in order to support a variety of outcomes for the work done within the AustESE Workbench. Export formats for transcriptions and annotations will include, but are not exclusively, RDF/XML, ePub, PDF TriG, JSON-LD, and TriX.
Project owners control access and so can invite review at anytime. A project owner might decide to work in a completely open environment and so invite review at anytime. Alternatively, peer review might be left until a project is more mature, and, perhaps, timed to coincide with publication.
We’ll be testing all of these feature at the AustESE Workshop, and will report on the results in the next blog post. In subsequent blog posts, we’ll discuss the more mature projects being managed by Paul Eggert (The Charles Harpur Critical Archive) and Roger Osborne (A Digital Archive and Critical Edition of Joseph Furphy’s Such is Life).