The EEBO-TCP’s open-source collection of OCR transcriptions of early modern texts offers an ideal opportunity to introduce students to scholarly editing practices without requiring specialized encoding skills or software.
Why teach editorial methods in an early modern literature classroom? Teaching editorial methods are a great way to introduce students to the history of the book, to early print and MS. culture, to the collaborative nature of early modern literary production, to the evolution of the English language, and to early modern reading practices – just to name a few entry points!
Teaching editorial methods can also help students engage in “slow reading” practices that make them more attentive to the nuances of the text, and pay attention to details that can help them move past obvious content to ask more profound questions. Generating contextual annotations for words, persons, places, and more not only deepens one’s understanding of the text, but introduces students to non-linear research methods that they may apply beyond their coursework.
Editorial assignments are also scalable, and can be introduced in a single class session, or given as a capstone assignment for a discrete unit or an entire course.
The following assignment has been giving in 200-level Shakespeare classes, but is easily adaptable to more and less advanced students. This particular assignment includes a five-page essay that has been included to meet departmental objectives for this course. The color-coding modernization scheme has been borrowed from Claire Bourne
Please note that all of the foregoing teaching resources have been authored by Kristen Abbott Bennett and should be cited accordingly. The Kit Marlowe Project is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.