Documentary Editing, Association for


Date of this Version


Document Type



Newsletter of the Association for Documentary Editing, Volume 3, Number 1, February 1981. ISSN 0196-7134


© Association for Documentary Editing, 1981. Used by permission.


You will be relieved to know that the sheaf of pages I hold in my hand does not constitute the paper I intend to inflict upon you this morning. It is instead a Xerox copy of Tom Tanselle's article "The Editing of Historical Documents" as it appeared in the 1978 volume of Studies in Bibliography. I display it in this way for two contrasting reasons. First, it provides the physical evidence of one salient fact of Tom's critical scholarship. That is, when he writes on a topic he writes on all of it. There is an encyclopedic quality to his treatment of any subject. Whether you seek information on Greg's Theory of Copy-Text, on the Bibliographical Description of Paper, or on Principles of Editorial Apparatus, you find that reference to an article by Tom Tanselle not only presents his reasoned views of the current state of knowledge, but also makes you master of all the best and much of the worst that has been thought and said on the subject over the years. And any information omitted from the text will surely be referred to in the notes.