SEENET: Society for Early English and Norse Electronic Texts
The University of Michigan Press announces the establishment of the Society for Early English and Norse Electronic Texts, or SEENET. The Society will solicit, produce, and disseminate scholarly electronic editions of Old Norse, Old English, and Middle English texts. Combining the full capabilities of computer technology with the highest standards of traditional scholarly editing, SEENET will publish machine-readable texts with reliable introductory materials, annotations, and apparatus.
Electronic editions offer historians, literary critics, linguists, and editors exciting new ways to study texts. Unlike printed books, electronic texts lend themselves to sophisticated searches, concordancing, collations, and other forms of text retrieval. Editors may present in full both "good" and "bad" manuscripts, permitting literary historians to study the history of the reception of the text as shown by scribal changes or marginal annotations. Comprehensive databases from a wide variety of dialect regions will be available to historical linguists for phonological, morphological, and syntactical studies. Students of stylistics will be able to make more complex studies of metrical, lexical, or syntactic patterning than are possible with printed texts.
The extremely flexible nature of an electronic text is also ideal for representing complex textual traditions, even of works like Piers Plowman, where editors confront high degrees of ambiguity and uncertainty. Electronic editions will accommodate scholars who prefer "best text" documentary editions as well as those who want the best possible modern editorial reconstructions.