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Renascence Editions
Updated 12/24/06
About Renascence Editions

Renascence Editions is an effort to make available online works printed in English between the years 1477 (when Caxton began printing) and 1799, the date of the first edition of Wordsworth and Coleridge's collaboration on a new kind of poetry. These texts have been produced with care and attention, but are not represented as scholarly editions. They are available to the public for educational and nonprofit purposes only. The publisher and general editor is Risa Stephanie Bear at the University of Oregon. For news about Renascence Editions, see the Renascence Editions Weblog.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Why 'Renascence' instead of 'Renaissance'? Won't a deliberate error confuse people?

A. It's not an error; the word is an acceptable alternative (see your dictionary), and the other one has been taken by other publishers.

2. Why do so many of the books have "u" where "v" goes and vice versa? 

A. Where possible, we follow the spellings and typography in use at the time of the earliest editions.  Many libraries do not have access to such editions, and it can be useful for students to spend a little time experiencing some of the context of the contemporary reading experience.

3. Why not use page images then?

A. These take up a lot of memory, load very slowly by telephone modem, which many people still use, aren't searchable, and in many cases are under copyright as image, whereas as text they are in the public domain.

4. Why aren't there biographies and glossaries in most cases?

A.We are at present a volunteer operation. Everyone already has a day job. If you'd like to volunteer to help upgrade the texts, we'd be happy to hear from you.

5. Why aren't these texts in TEI conformant SGML? 

A. See answer to 4. above. SGML tagging is very time-consuming; we don't have anything against other people doing this with our texts, and in fact this has been done at the University of Virginia and elsewhere.

6.Why do you say these are not scholarly editions? They look pretty reliable to me.

A. The answer is closely related to the answers to questions 4 and 5. People make money for producing scholarly editions. Such editions tend to be prepared by someone with authority (read 'with a doctorate'), typically one who specializes in the author, period, or genre, and who is editing within a context of the latest available scholarship and with access to any extant manuscripts. Some of RE's texts are, in fact, prepared by tenured professors of English; this is true of our Milton and Bacon titles. But they are in effect hobby editions, made available by the transcriber as found in nineteenth century or very early twentieth century editions, and chosen by virtue of availability and lack of copyright problems. Other titles were taken, with permission, from sites that were about to disappear from the Web, which in most cases were also hobby editions. These are hardly the editions that should be used by graduate students in thesis preparation; hence the disclaimer

7. What is this ERIS Project you seem to have gotten a lot of books from?

A. A major gopher-based collection of world classics in English, compiled at Virginia Tech, but now defunct at that site. Mirrored at the University of Adelaide Library. 

8. I have this paper to write. Can you help me with it?

A. Talk with your professor about appropriate sources and how to access and use them.

9. What is Scholar's Bank?

"Scholar's Bank is an open access archive for University of Oregon research, publications, and supporting materials in digital form. Unless otherwise stated, all rights are reserved by the authors and materials in the archive must be properly cited when being referred to by third parties. For more information, consult the Scholars' Bank FAQ....Scholars' Bank uses MIT's DSpace software."

10. How do the Search Engines work?

See Google Co-op. We're still working at getting it to return all results from the website; but the search is now somewhat comprehensive as of 12.21.06 because it is reaching into all the PDF documents in the RE collection on Scholar's Bank. We'll post here when the search engine is completed.

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Renascence Editions