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Home :: Archive :: 2008 :: May ::
Extant Copies of the Q1609 Sonnets
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 19.0314  Saturday, 24 May 2008

[1] 	From:	Gabriel Egan <
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	Date:	Thursday, 22 May 2008 17:33:56 +0100
	Subj:	Re: SHK 19.0312 Extant Copies of the Q1609 Sonnets

[2] 	From: 	Hardy M. Cook <
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	Date: 	Saturday, May 24, 2008
	Subj: 	Re: SHK 19.0312 Extant Copies of the Q1609 Sonnets

[3] 	From:	Larry Weiss <
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	Date:	Thursday, 22 May 2008 13:41:35 -0400
	Subj:	Re: SHK 19.0312 Extant Copies of the Q1609 Sonnets

[4] 	From:	Matthew Cossolotto <
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	Date:	Thursday, 22 May 2008 14:26:38 -0400
	Subj:	RE: SHK 19.0312 Extant Copies of the Q1609 Sonnets


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:		Gabriel Egan <
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Date:		Thursday, 22 May 2008 17:33:56 +0100
Subject: 19.0312 Extant Copies of the Q1609 Sonnets
Comment:	Re: SHK 19.0312 Extant Copies of the Q1609 Sonnets

John Briggs must be right that purely digital comparison of books is the best 
way to do collation. Don't use a Hinman or McLeod collator, he says, but rather

 >. . .  make digital photographs of all copies and
 >compare the digital images, blinking them
 >electronically.

Agreed, but why have blinking to show the differences?

Paul R. Sternberg and John M. Brayer published an article called "Composite 
imaging: A new technique in bibliographic research" in Papers of the 
Bibliographical Society of America 77 (1983): 431-435. Their trick was to make 
the composite image have black where both source images had black, and white 
where both had white, but to use blue for what one had that the other lacked, 
and red for vice versa.

The technology needed to do this has got much cheaper since then, of course.

Does anyone know from experience that making the differences blink is better 
that differentiation by colour?

Gabriel Egan

[2]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From: 		Hardy M. Cook <
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Date: 		Saturday, May 24, 2008
Subject: 19.0312 Extant Copies of the Q1609 Sonnets
Comment: 	Re: SHK 19.0312 Extant Copies of the Q1609 Sonnets

A few days ago <http://www.shaksper.net/archives/2008/0311.html>, I wrote,

  >The Octavo copies that are online, in general, are lower
  >resolution images than those Octavo actually photographed.
  >The reason is commercial. Specifically, three of the
  >Shakespeare photographic facsimiles at the Rare Books site
  >are available for sale by Octavo. . . . The First Folio image
  >on the CD is advertized as up to 200% -- I have gone much
  >higher but the image does degrade -- when I purchased my
  >disk, I could go to the Octavo website and download files
  >of separate sections (divided by plays) in high-resolution
  >images (up to 400% advertized) of the First Folio, but the
  >link no longer works, and I could not find anywhere on the
  >website information about obtaining the high-resolution
  >images -- I wish that I had been obsessive enough to have
  >downloaded all of the high-quality images when I had the
  >chance.

I wrote to Octavo and got this reply:

Thank you for writing to Octavo. . .  . it has been significantly downsized, all 
employees laid off, and the product line reduced to the Octavo Editions on CD. 
The plan to offer every Shakespeare play in the higher-resolution version was 
thus never realized, sadly.

I went back to the Rare Book Room <http://www.rarebookroom.org/> to look around 
some more.

The homepage reads as follows:

The "Rare Book Room" site has been constructed as an educational site intended 
to allow the visitor to examine and read some of the great books of the world.

Over the last ten years, a company called "Octavo" embarked on digitally 
photographing some of the world's great books from some of the greatest 
libraries. These books were photographed at very high resolution (in some cases 
at over 200 megabytes per page).

This site contains all of the books (about 400) that have been digitized to 
date. These range over a wide variety of topics and rarity. The books are 
presented so that the viewer can examine all the pages in medium to medium-high 
resolution.

Under highlights, the Shakespeare section is described: "This section contains 
most of the Shakespeare Quartos from the British Library, the Bodleian Library, 
the University of Edinburgh Library, and the National Library of Scotland. It 
also contains the First Folio from the Folger Shakespeare Library, a first 
edition of the Sonnets, and a first edition of Shakespeare's Poems."

I investigated further and found an Introduction off of the page entitled "The 
Quartos of William Shakespeare" (<http://www.rarebookroom.org/sindex.html> 
WARNING: The links on this page produce unusual results and are not to be 
trusted to locate the texts associated with the work in the list.):

Introduction

Over the past several years in cooperation with the world's greatest libraries, 
Octavo has digitally photographed most of the existing early quarto editions of 
William Shakespeare's plays and poems, as well as the quarto editions of plays 
such as _The Yorkshire Tragedy_ once considered part of the Shakespeare canon.

Eighteen of Shakespeare's plays were printed during the poet's lifetime, 
appearing separately in editions called quartos. These small books, about the 
size of a modern paperback, were sold unbound for a few pence. The quartos vary 
widely in bibliographical and textual significance, and in textual quality. The 
quarto editions of Shakespeare's two narrative poems -- _Venus and Adonis_ in 
1593 and _The Rape of Lucrece_ in 1594 -- are unusually error-free, suggesting 
the author's engagement with their printing. But Shakespeare himself was 
probably not involved in seeing the quarto editions of the plays through the 
press, since the texts are marked by numerous compositorial and proofreading 
errors that an attentive author would wish to correct. Despite this apparent 
lack of authorial interest, scholars have realized since the late-eighteenth 
century that, for many of the plays, the quarto prints the most authoritative 
text of the play. Indeed, several of the texts collected in the 1623 volume, _Mr 
William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories & Tragedies_ -- commonly known as the 
First Folio--merely reprint the text found in the earlier quarto.

Because of the unique attention that Shakespeare's work commands, digital 
reproduction of each surviving early quarto is an important contribution to the 
body of textual and bibliographical knowledge. This site makes these editions 
available to anyone who wishes to read the earliest printed form of 
Shakespeare's work.

Finally, I went back to the homepage; and, at the bottom, I found what I was 
looking for: "If you have questions, comments, problems or are interested in 
high resolution images, then please contact: 
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 ." I think 
that should anyone ever be interested in a digital facsimile that Octavo may be 
willing, for scholarly purposes, to make some of their 1000% photographed images 
available.

[3]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:		Larry Weiss <
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 >
Date:		Thursday, 22 May 2008 13:41:35 -0400
Subject: 19.0312 Extant Copies of the Q1609 Sonnets
Comment:	Re: SHK 19.0312 Extant Copies of the Q1609 Sonnets

 >It would be far better to make digital photographs of all
 >copies and compare the digital images, blinking them
 >electronically. This was done back in 2000 by a Japanese
 >team for the Gutenberg Bible, again looking for variants.

This sounds like the device Charlton Hinman came up with; but I understand that 
all models of that device have been destroyed.

[4]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:		Matthew Cossolotto <
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 >
Date:		Thursday, 22 May 2008 14:26:38 -0400
Subject: 19.0312 Extant Copies of the Q1609 Sonnets
Comment:	RE: SHK 19.0312 Extant Copies of the Q1609 Sonnets

One question I have about the Sonnets -- perhaps someone on Shaksper has this 
info -- relates to contemporaneous references or allusions to the 1609 
publication, let's say within 5 or 10 years after publication. I don't recall 
reading about writers or other commentators mentioning the 1609 volume, at least 
not within a few years of publication. Does anybody have any information about 
this? By contrast to the Sonnets didn't V&A and Lucrece receive quite a bit of 
attention after publication?

Many thanks,
Matthew Cossolotto

**********************************************************************

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 19.0312  Thursday, 22 May 2008

From:		John Briggs <
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Date:		Wednesday, 21 May 2008 23:13:00 +0100
Subject: 19.0309 Extant Copies of the Q1609 Sonnets
Comment:	Re: SHK 19.0309 Extant Copies of the Q1609 Sonnets

Carter Hailey wrote:


 >If a fresh collation of the thirteen known copies of the 1609 Sonnets
 >is thought desirable, the most reliable and potential useful procedure
 >would be to use a high-resolution digital facsimile of one copy as a
 >control which, displayed on a laptop computer screen, should then be
 >collated against all physical copies using either the McLeod or
 >Hailey's COMET portable optical collator. (I will immodestly claim that
 >the latter is more easily adaptable to this procedure.) Facsimiles
 >should not be multiplied beyond necessity.


And I disagree. It would be far better to make digital photographs of all
copies and compare the digital images, blinking them electronically. This
was done back in 2000 by a Japanese team for the Gutenberg Bible, again
looking for variants.
Disappointingly, their own copy was very uninteresting from that point of
view. (They took a massive state-of-the-art digital camera round the globe
-- it required a military export licence!)

John Briggs

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