Document Type


Publication Date


Publication Title

Archive for the Study of Modern Languages ​​and Literatures





Publisher Name

Erich Schmidt Verlag

Publisher Location

Berlin, Germany


This report provides (1) a short history of the Charles Harpur Critical Archive (CHCA), which has been in preparation since 2009. Harpur was a predominantly newspaper poet in colonial New South Wales. Writing from the 1830s to the 1860s, he was unable to publish in book form because of the undeveloped state of the local literary publishing scene. Approximately 2700 versions of his 700 poems in newspaper and in manuscript form have been recovered. (2) A summary of the technical approach, a new one for special-purpose digital archives, is provided. The principal innovation is the use of a Multi-Version Document (MVD) file format. Because it is not dependent on conventional XML encoding, overlap is no longer a problem and automatic collation of versions, and of layers of revision in individual manuscripts, has become possible. Synchronous scrolling of facsimile image and transcription has also been achieved, lessening the need for detailed encoding of document elements and physical features. (3) The report then reflects on the theoretical implications of the concepts and methods used for the CHCA and on the changing role of the editor.



Author Posting © Erich Schmidt Verlag, 2018. This is the author's version of the work. It is posted here by permission of Erich Schmidt Verlag for personal use, not for redistribution. The definitive version was published in Archive for the Study of Modern Languages and Literatures, Issue 2, December, 2018.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.