Libraries at University of Nebraska-Lincoln


Date of this Version



Presented at the Association for Documentary Editing Annual Conference, Springfield, Illinois, October 16, 2009


This paper is an effort to think about something different than the creation of documentary editions. It is an effort to think about the reading of them. Specifically, I want to think about the ways the reading of documentary editions is changing, or how it might change. First, however, a caveat: much of what I say is speculative and anecdotal. Though others’ research has been consulted, I’m heavily influenced by what I observe is happening with readers of my own editing project, The Willa Cather Archive, a digital thematic research collection dedicated to the life, work, and environs of the American author. That said, I want to consider existing trends more broadly, guess about future practices, and contemplate how we, as documentary editors, might respond to the altering modes of readership.