Two on-line projects on the early Celestina: HSMS-DLOST and TeXTReD

The Early “Celestina” Electronic Texts and Concordances exist in CD-ROM since 1997 but, despite their native digital format, they have not been made available on-line until the past year. Concretely in 2015 the Hispanic Seminary of Medieval Studies added Celestina to their list of available corpora at the Digital Library of Old Spanish Texts (HSMS-DLOST), and the Department of Spanish and Portuguese at the University of Wisconsin has only needed a few months to take advantage of this and launch their own website devoted to the early texts of Celestina as part of its own project TeXTReD.

Sin título 1The Early “Celestina” Electronic Texts and Concordances includes semi-paleographic transcriptions of all extant exemplars of the Comedia, of all known editions of the Tragicomedia in Castilian through 1530, and of the unique extant manuscript witness, totalling twenty-one transcriptions. In the HSMS-DLOST, these serve as a basis for interactive indexes (alphabetical, frequency, and reverse alphabetical) and concordances, their purpose being allowing scholars to do “detailed stylistic, lexical and textological studies to analyze more closely the questions of authorship and the relationship between Comedia and Tragicomedia printings”. Therefore, they serve a highly specialised function and are oriented towards a scholar audience.

Sin títuloBy contrast, the TeXTReD project sacrifices the interactivity of the HSMH-DLOST. It exclusively provides transcriptions, indexes, and concordances, in plain text, but it adds a visual component: besides the transcriptions, the indexes, and the concordances, of the HSMS-DLOST, the TeXTReD website provides links to digital facsimiles of some (three) of the transcribed texts; more specifically, those kept in the Hispanic Society of America. Moreover, there are digitisations of additional editions of Celestina kept at the Hispanic Society, in Spanish and in Italian, of the sixteenth and the seventeenth centuries, not relevant for the Early “Celestina” Electronic Texts and Concordances but still interesting for anyone working on Celestina. However, all this features are completely independent and there is no option for visualising text and facsimile simultaneously, therefore, this site is very interesting as a resource for teaching and/or research materials, but not a research tool in itself.

In conclusion, the TeXTReD project is particularly oblivious to the possibilities of Digital Humanities, while the HSMH-DLOST project takes advantage of the possibilities of linking contents, but is too static and does not include any visual component. However, despite these defects, both projects are a good point of departure and provide useful materials for further research and, above all, for future digital editions of Celestina.

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