Title

Remix the Medieval Manuscript: Experiments with Digital Infrastructure

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

9-2018

Abstract

Remix the Manuscript: A Chronicle of Digital Experiments is a collaborative research project that takes up this challenge. It brings together academics, librarians, technologists, conservators, and students to study the many permutations of a single manuscript—a fifteenth-century Middle English prose chronicle of Great Britain, commonly referred to as the “Prose Brut.” Our project raises fundamental questions about the digital research environment. How is today’s code configuring tomorrow’s historical knowledge? How do digital technologies affect our access to and understanding of material culture? By investigating these broad questions through the example of one manuscript, we define a limited yet infinitely expandable dataset. In this way, we try to ensure that team members, whose time and capability to participate varies, can complete projects while not sacrificing epistemological concerns to expediency. We seek the flexibility to adopt new tools as they emerge, change course in response to new problems, and abandon lines of inquiry as team members change. Our approach is therefore grounded in sampling and prototyping. We aim to develop insight into how digital culture is reshaping medieval manuscript studies, while remaining connected to the unique sensualities of historic books. In the long run, we hope that this research will identify some of the distinct affordances of digital forms. In this project, remix is a method, a theory, and an aesthetic philosophy.

Share

COinS