Late in 2011, I finished a first draft of a TEI-encoded transcription of the 1898 typescript of Such is Life, providing a foundation for comparison with the published works and the core of a future electronic edition of Furphy’s works. Using Juxta, I’ve collated the typescript with the published versions, but I hope to be able to do more with Desmond Schmidt and Anna Gerber to develop an environment that will serve the preparation for and publication of an electronic edition. Desmond has been working on Multi-Version Documents for a while and is on the cusp of providing a service that will greatly assist under-skilled
scholars to pursue electronic editions with greater confidence. Updates and information about the technical and conceptual foundations of MVD can be found on Desmond’s blog: http://multiversiondocs.blogspot.com/
At the UQ eResearch Lab, Anna Gerber has been exploring the potential of MVD to serve as a foundation for scholarly editors wishing to collaboratively annotate works with complex textual histories. As part of the Open Annotations Collaboration, Anna has been extending LORE (Literature Object Re-Use and Exchange), an extension to the Firefox browser developed by the Aus-e-Lit Project, to support collaborative editing and serve as a first step towards a work-site for scholarly editing.
While these two creative people continue to develop digital infrastructure, I’ll finalise the preparation of my texts as I work towards digital and book versions of a scholarly edition of Such is Life and related works. I’m fortunate that the Furphy Project serves as a test-case for the work of my two colleagues, bringing me closer to an electronic edition than I otherwise would be. In the centenary year of Furphy’s death, these new resources and analyses will add to our knowledge of the nineteenth century print culture that helped transform a typescript from rural New South Wales into a novel that maintains a prominent position in Australia’s literary history.