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30 November 2010
Oxford University Press is proud to announce a major new digital publishing initiative: an online collection of OUP’s scholarly editions in the humanities which will go live in spring 2012.
Oxford’s line-up of scholarly editions is unrivalled in its breadth and quality. They comprise authoritative texts of poetry, drama, and fiction, from all periods of English literature, and of other important writing from across the humanities. Such editions are the bedrock of humanities scholarship – the primary sources upon which scholars rely for research and teaching.
Demand for such primary sources to be made accurately and reliably available online has been growing as more and more research and study is done outside the physical confines of libraries, and with Oxford Scholarly Editions Online (OSEO) OUP is able to respond to this demand.
An academic editorial board will oversee the project to ensure that it matches the high standards of scholarship embodied in the original print editions. Michael F. Suarez, S.J., Director, Rare Book School and University Professor, University of Virginia, is its editor in chief. He recently edited the acclaimed Oxford Companion to the Book. The board also comprises: Professor Gordon Campbell, Professor Christopher Cannon, Professor Emeritus Desmond Clarke, Professor Emerita Marilyn Deegan, Dr Nicholas Halmi, Professor Laura Marcus, Professor John Morrill, Professor Lisa Rodensky, and Dr Andrew Zurcher.
Sophie Goldsworthy, Editorial Director for Academic and Trade publishing, comments: “Cutting through the mass of data available online continues to present a very real challenge to scholars and students alike, and is nowhere more difficult than in the case of primary texts, with the sheer volume of unevaluated and often simply inaccurate editions online. By marrying technological developments with one of the most traditional forms of scholarly endeavour, OSEO will enhance the discoverability and accessibility of some of Oxford’s most prestigious and authoritative content. We are extremely proud to be embarking upon this project alongside such an eminent editorial board, jointly committed to ensuring that we deliver nothing but the highest quality content in a way that fulfils the needs of the widest possible readership.”
The intention is to launch the site with 150 editions of works originally written between 1485 and 1660 – including Shakespeare’s plays, poetry by John Donne, and the letters of Thomas Hobbes – and to add tranches of content covering other chronological periods until it contains many hundreds of editions of works of different types – drama, poetry, and all kinds of prose, from diaries and correspondence through to philosophical speculation, sermons, history, biography, and fiction. Through this initiative OUP will be making many classic editions widely available.
Complementing the experience of using an edition in print, the site will both open up new research journeys for scholars, and facilitate the studies of the students they teach. All our users, across the world, will be able to discover, compare, and refer to this primary content more widely, accurately, and swiftly than ever.