Documentary Editing, Association for


Date of this Version


Document Type



Documentary Editing: Journal of the Association for Documentary Editing, Volume 32: 2011 ISSN 0196-7134


© 2011 The Association for Documentary Editing. Used by permission.


This paper draws on my experiences at the Walt Whitman Archive as I begin thinking about my own digital editing project that will treat nineteenth century newspaper poetry. Until recently, I have imagined my project as a fairly straightforward digital documentary edition of newspaper poems, one in which a selection of newspaper poems would comprise the primary texts for editorial treatment. The edition also would accommodate the surrounding text of the newspapers in some capacity, whether with page images or within a critical apparatus. As I have become more familiar with the texts I want to recover, edit, and present—the number and variety of them, their participation in larger newspaper contexts, and their fluidity in the process of reprinting—I have started to question this plan: Can documentary editing meet my goals for digitizing and presenting these materials? If so, what might a digital documentary edition of these texts look like, and how might it function?