Documentary Editing, Association for


Date of this Version


Document Type



Newsletter of the Association for Documentary Editing, Volume 2, Number 1, February 1980. ISSN 0196-7134


© Association for Documentary Editing, 1980. Used by permission.


I am interested that the Association for Documentary Editing would have a panel on the solo editor, because since reading Don Higginbotham's piece in the March issue of the ADE Newsletter the idea of the solo editor as a particular species of the genus of historical editor has intrigued me. As the single, sole, solo editor of the Papers of David Hartley, and as the associate editor of The Papers . of Philip Mazzei, I am presently both a solo editor and a team editor. I feel, therefore, sensitive to the difficulties which the solo editor shares with other editors, as well as to those which derive especially from the solitary nature of a project. Perhaps it ought to be said right from the beginning that every editor is, at some time in the course of editing, a solo editor. The game of editing-selecting and annotating-is played alone. The trappings of the project qua project become irrelevant at a certain stage, and the documents and the editor exist in their own world-. We are all solo editors, but some of us are more solo than others. My examples in this paper will come primarily from the eighteenth-century editing projects and from my own experience. In view of the topic suggested - selectivity and annotation-my remarks, too, are related largely to the province of printed volumes. But I hope that solo editors of microfilm and microfiche projects, as well as editors of nineteenth and twentieth century projects will find portions of the discussion relevant.