Classics@18: Ancient Manuscripts and Virtual Research Environments

  Clivaz, Claire, and Garrick V. Allen, eds. 2021. “Ancient Manuscripts and Virtual Research Environments.” Special issue, Classics@ 18.

Edited by Claire Clivaz and Garrick V. Allen
This volume of Classics@ explores and analyses a methodological turn in ancient studies: the practice of presenting harvested data in ancient manuscripts within virtual research environments (VREs). What changes when research on ancient manuscripts occurs in a VRE, especially in early Jewish and Christian literature, New Testament, and Classical works? Does it matter if we undertake research in a digital medium rather than in a traditional print context? How does working with digital images and born-digital data intersect with the traditional print mentalities that have until recently defined philological research? Because VREs offer wide and usually free access to diverse information regardless of one’s geographical location, they continue to have an outsized influence on the research landscape of the humanities in more complex ways. Most notably, perhaps, is the required emphasis on collaborative forms of research in these contexts, representing a profound change to the usual humanist paradigm that is defined by the Romantic representation of the nineteenth-century lonely scholar. The caricature of the textual scholar as a solitary genius sifting through dusty volumes in medieval university libraries is now surely passé.
… At their core VREs foster collaborative research. … The methods and outputs are becoming more complex, more multi-modal, and less-attributable to the labors of an individual scholar. The long and short contributions of this fascicle are selective examples of this move in research, and they have been collected from the first conference organized by the MARK16 project. A five-year project funded by the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF), MARK16 works, as its primary methodological challenge, to build a Virtual Research Environment (VRE) focused on the last chapter of the Gospel according to Mark. Consequently, the online conference organized by the project in September 2020 from Lausanne focused on this point by gathering together a range of scholars working on ancient manuscripts in diverse fields, as well as scholars from the digital humanities. We are very grateful to the SNSF for their support of this event and the production of the resulting publication.

– From the Introduction


Claire Clivaz and Garrick V. Allen, “Introduction: Ancient Manuscripts and Virtual Research Environments.”

Elena L. Hertel, Stephan M. Unter, Kathrin Gabler, and Antonio Loprieno, “Crossing Boundaries Between Humanities and Informatics: The Case of Egyptian Papyri.”

Isabelle Marthot-Santaniello, “D-scribes Project and Beyond: Building a Virtual Research Environment for the Digital Palaeography of Ancient Greek and Coptic Papyri.”

Gregory S. Paulson, “The Nestle-Aland as Open Digital Edition: Already and Not Yet.”

Garrick V. Allen, Owen Conlan, Clare Conran, Christophe Debruyne, Troy Griffitts, Nishtha Jain, Matthew Nicholson, Declan O’Sullivan, Kelsie G. Rodenbiker, Anthony P. Royle, and Ulrich Schmid, “The New Testament in Virtual Research Environments: Titles, Greek Manuscripts, Data Querying.”

Claire Clivaz, Mina Monier, and Jonathan Barda, “MARK16 as Virtual Research Environment: Challenges and Opportunities in New Testament Studies.”

Patrick Andrist, “New Tools and Database Models for the Study of the Architecture of Complex Manuscripts.”

P. A. Stokes, B. Kiessling, D. Stökl Ben Ezra, R. Tissot, and H. Gargem, “The eScriptorium VRE for Manuscript Cultures.”

Olga Serbaeva, with revisions by Hans Cools, Jan Clemens Stoffregen, and Roberta Padlina, “Inseri as a Potential IT Framework for Research Projects in Humanities: The Sanskrit Manuscripts Project as a Test Case.”

Erzsébet Tóth-Czifra, “Rethinking text, techné and tenure: Evaluation and peer-review challenges around Virtual Research Environments in the Arts and Humanities.”

Elpida Perdiki and Maria Konstantinidou, “Handling Big Manuscript Data.”

Elisa Nury and Elena Spadini, “Automatic Collation Tools and Virtual Research Environments.”

Simone Zenzaro, “Towards better VREs: key concepts and basic challenges.”

Uri Schor, Vered Raziel-Kretzmer, Moshe Lavee, Tsvi Kuflik, “Digital Research Library for Multi-Hierarchical Interrelated Texts: From ‘Tikkoun Sofrim’ Text Production to Text Modeling.”

Andrew Smith, “Mining Manuscript Data in the New Testament Virtual Manuscript Room.”

Riccardo Macchioro, “The PASSIM Project (Patristic Sermons in the Middle Ages): Towards a Virtual Research Environment for the Study of Patristic Sermon Collections.”

Francesca Galli and Elena Nieddu, “In Codice Ratio: Using VREs in the Study of the Medieval Vatican Registers.”

Marie Bisson and Marie-Agnès Lucas-Avenel, “Why Make a Digital Critical Edition of a Latin Source? The Histoire du Grand Comte Roger et de son frère Robert Guiscard by Gaufredus Malaterra in Context.”