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Home :: Archive :: 1991 :: November ::
Public Domain Project
Shakespeare Electronic Conference, Vol. 2, No. 289. Tuesday, 5 Nov 1991.
 
 
(1)	Date: 	Tue, 5 Nov 1991 18:34:00 -0500
	From: 	Sean K. Lawrence <
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	Subj: 	Public domain Shakespeare
 
(2)	Date: 	Tue, 5 Nov 1991 11:33:19 -0500
	From:	Ken Steele <
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	Subj:   Public Domain Projects
 
 
(1)------------------------------------------------------------------------
 
Date: 		Tue, 5 Nov 1991 18:34:00 -0500
From: 		Sean K. Lawrence <
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Subject: 	Public domain Shakespeare
 
Great idea, encoding Shakespeare in public domain.  Count me in to type
a scene or two.  I don't own any folio or quarto texts personally, but
have access to a number at my university library.  I don't think, however,
that I am qualified to edit such texts, or annotate them at all.
 
If you would like me to type a scene or two, just send a document with the
format, preferred source, and which scene you would like typed.
 
Free Shakespeare is very exciting, both for its practical usage and
broadened access, and for what it shows us about this new medium, about
the new freedom of information, made possible by computer networks, allowing
for cooperative efforts.
 
Yours sincerely,
Sean K. Lawrence.
 
(2)-----------------------------------------------------------------------
 
Date: 		Tue, 5 Nov 1991 11:33:19 -0500
From:		Ken Steele <
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 >
Subject:      	Public Domain Projects
 
There does indeed seem to be continued support for the concept of
public domain texts of Shakespeare, and although I don't want it to
become the only thing we talk about on SHAKSPER, I would like us to
arrive at some sort of consensus regarding our needs and methods.
 
Michael Hart, Director of Project Gutenberg, has kindly offered the
services of some Project Gutenberg volunteers to enter text, although
he notes that they will not be Shakespeare experts and would prefer to
work with plain ascii text rather than complex tagging.  He reports a
number of volunteers who like Shakespeare and are willing to work on
more than one play each, either in text entry or proofing.  Apparently
they are used to entering much longer texts than the sort of
single-scene procedure we are considering.
 
Once again, the question becomes choice of copytext for a public
domain text of Shakespeare.  If our only public-domain choices are
outdated (and eccentric) nineteenth-century editions, or the original
quarto and folio texts, I think it's reasonably clear which is
preferable.  The more textually-inclined among us could eventually
create edited versions of the texts if people need a public-domain
*edition* of Shakespeare.  In fact, once we have a public domain text of
the First Folio, it should be reasonably simple to produce public
domain texts from it of the Second Folio, Third Folio, etc., on down
to the eighteenth-century editions, who then proceed to reprint each
other too.  Naturally, I'm not talking about a project which would be
completed this month or this year, but in the long term I think this
might be viable...
 
The major stumbling-block is that most of our volunteers don't have
the Norton facsimile at home; instead, they have the Yale (if we're
lucky) or the Penguin or Pelican.  Either we need someone with
institutional photocopying privileges, to mail copytexts to
volunteers, or we're going to have to run collation software to
compare whatever texts get submitted with the Howard-Hill texts from
the Text Archive, and to bring our public domain texts in line with
the Norton facsimile.
 
Any suggestions?
 
					Ken Steele
					University of Toronto
 

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