Digital Metamorphosis: Digital Humanities and edition philology – conference documentation

2. – 4. November 2015, Herzog August Bibliothek Wolfenbüttel

A poster for the "Digital Metamorphosis: Digital Humanities and Editorial Studies" conference.

Are printed editions facing extinction? Will digital editions be the norm in years to come? One thing is certain: the digital revolution has taken editorial philology by storm. Reason enough for the MWW Research Association to organise a conference which explores the challenges of this development. The conference “Digital Metamorphosis: Digital Humanities und Edition Philology” took place at the Herzog August Bibliothek Wolfenbüttel (HAB) from 2 to 4 November 2015.

The conference was headed by Dr. Roland S. Kamzelak, deputy director of the German Literature Archive in Marbach (DLA) and supervisor of its “Development” department, along with Dr. Thomas Stäcker, acting director of the HAB and head of the department “Modern Media, Digital Library”. Some 50 participants attended the conference and discussed the opportunities, risks and limits of digital edition philology.

The conference opened on 2 November with keynote addresses by two renowned edition philologists. Dr. Bodo Plachta elucidated the relationship of editorial activities and philological standards, while Prof. Dr. João Dionísio (Lisbon) emphasised the importance of international cooperation with regard to both digital and non-digital editorial ventures.

During the following two days, the conference staged three panels which addressed the topics of “Infrastructures for Digital Edition Philology”, “Publication Forms and Reviewing Digital Editions“ and “New Methods in Edition Philology”. The panels were supplemented by short presentations of current digital edition projects.

Conference Report (in German)

Audio Files of the Keynote addresses


Bodo Plachta: “Utmost Diligence – Do We Need Philological Standards for Academic Editions?” With an introduction of the speaker by Dr. Roland S. Kamzelak (Marbach) and follow-up discussion 

Listen to audio file


João Dionísio (Lisbon): “International/Global Networks against the Backdrop of Non-Digital and Digital Editorial Ventures”

With an introduction of the speaker by Dr. Roland S. Kamzelak (Marbach) and follow-up discussion

Listen to audio file

Presentations by the speakers (Selection)

Panel 1: Infrastructures for Digital Edition Philology

Heinz-Werner Kramski (DLA Marbach): From the Digital Archival Document to the Edition
Presentation (PDF)

Ursula Kundert (HAB Wolfenbüttel, MWW): Transparent Philology. Text-Based Theory on Digitally Integrated Cataloguing, Editorial Work and Research
Presentation (PDF)

Brief Introduction of Current Digital Edition Projects I

Carina Hoff (Trier): Religious Knowledge of Women in Early Modernity. The New Digital Edition of German-Language Sister Books of the 14th-Century
Presentation (PDF)

Panel 2: Publication Forms and Reviewing Digital Editions

Inga Ralle (HAB Wolfenbüttel): Providing Orientation – Typography and Usability of Digital Editions
Presentation (PDF)

Ulrike Henny (Cologne): Reviewing Digital Editions
Presentation (PDF)

Panel 3: New Methods in Edition Philology

Georg Vogeler (Graz): Why Editing Medieval Account Books Is Not Possible without DH
Presentation (PDF)

Jörg Wettlaufer (Göttingen): The Next Step? Semantic Web and Digital Editions
Presentation (PDF)

Brief Introduction of Current Digital Edition Projects II

Britta Klosterberg (Halle/Saale): Digitalisation and Transcription of August Hermann Francke’s Diaries on the “Francke Portal”
Presentation (PDF)

Claudia Bamberg / Jochen Strobel (Marburg): The Electronic Edition of A. W. Schlegel’s Correspondence – A Model for Library and University Cooperation
Presentation (PDF)

Franziska Diehr (Göttingen): Text Database and Dictionary of the Classical Maya
Presentation (PDF)

Related blog entries

Interview with conference director Thomas Stäcker on whether there will only be printed editions in the future, what researchers must take into account when producing a digital edition and what he expects from the conference

Short interview with conference director Roland S. Kamzelak (Marbach) on sustainability on the Internet and impressive digital editions

Interview with Bodo Plachta, keynote speaker of the conference, about the move of the digital in editorial studies, successful hybrid editions and the future of the printed book (in German)

Interview with the junior researchers Ulrike Henny and Peter Andorfer about digital edition philology as an ideal field for young academics, misconceptions they’ve encountered with respect to their work, and the question if you have to be a nerd to be able to produce a digital edition.