Documentary Editing, Association for


Date of this Version

Summer 2004

Document Type



Documentary Editing, Volume 26, Number 2, Summer 2004. ISSN 0196-7134


2004 © the Association for Documentary Editing. Used by permission.


When the editorial staff began designing The Law Practice of Abraham Lincoln: Complete Documentary Edition (LPAL) in 1991, we intended it to become an electronic version of a microfilm edition-images of documents accessible through an electronic finding aid. l As we refined our conception of what the edition should look like, and as technological capabilities exploded in the 1990s, we saw many opportunities to add value to the edition. The fact that it was electronic made many of these ideas possible and relatively inexpensive. By the time we published LPAL, we had created not only the typical introduction to the edition and a statement of editorial method, but a substantial reference section that, if printed, would be over 500 pages in length (see figure 1 on page 60). The reason that we could even consider including these value-added components is that the electronic format made it cost-effective to publish. Our time spent in creating the content and putting it into the Reference format was the cost for these additional sections; the size of our image collection dictated that we use three DVD-ROM discs, but there was room to spare for the 38 megabytes (MB) of files that made up the Reference, Background, and Help sections.