Screenshot of the website
Screenshot of the website

Online.Swift – Open-Access Critical Online Edition of the Prose Works of Jonathan Swift

Project lead and contact person:

Faculty and Department:

Faculty 09 PhilologyEhrenpreis Institut für Swift Studien

Project duration and funding agency:  2008–2020 – German Research Foundation (DFG)

Research question:

For the first time in its textual history, Swift's prose will be edited according to the principles of the 'new' Anglo-American bibliography and edition theory. Another goal of the project is to provide, for the first time in the history of interpretation of Swift's prose writings, a commentary for each individual text, in addition to a historical introduction, which not only reviews the entire history of interpretation since 1745, but also reconstructs the author's presuppositions and situates understanding within his own horizon of experience and reading. And finally, for the first time, an online edition of Swift's prose will be presented, freely accessible to the worldwide scholarly and non-scholarly public, and, if possible, permanently available.

Project Abstract:

The team's work is divided into three tasks: a text-critical-constitutive part, an exegetical-philological part, and the encoding of all textual components in TEI P5. As far as the first task part is concerned, all texts up to 1714 listed in the survey The Prose Works of Jonathan Swift could be constituted, plus the Drapier's Letters. For the exegetical-philological part, the library and reading world of Jonathan Swift, reconstructed in the Ehrenpreis Institute with more than ninety percent in identical impressa, offers an almost ideal working instrument. However, this task area has proven to be particularly time-consuming, so that although it has been possible to provide the majority of the constituted texts with continuously updated commentaries and introductions, there is still work to be done. All completed text elements were coded in TEI and published on the project website.

Digital methods to be used:

In order to make texts, introductions, and comments accessible to as broad an international readership as possible, the publication will take the form of an online edition (open access). The requirements of long-term preservation and archiving must be taken into account, which is why all results are encoded in the XML-based markup language TEI P5. The actual online presentation of Online.Swift will be generated based on these TEI files. The Oxygen XML Editor is used for the encoding. The XML files are transformed into HTML via XSLT and are embedded in a Javascript framework.

Role of SCDH in this project: Consulting for the application

Link: Online.Swift