How Much of a Manuscript is a Digitized Manuscript?

Speaker: Cornelis van Lit (Utrecht University) @LWCvL

A strange paradox has crept into our philological work. Scholars have been so eager to take advantage of digitized manuscripts, that some wonder “who will ever go back to the ‘real’ manuscript?” The more our research focusses on the manuscript world, the more our work takes place in the digital world, it seems. But here is an even stranger paradox: When it is time to cite our sources, we refer to the actual, material manuscript and seem to forget we ever looked at digital images. Can we identify the digital surrogate so strongly with the material artifact? If not, what can and can’t we do with it? It is time to define the digital materiality of digitized manuscripts.

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