Historical Social Research

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Espen S. Ore, Document Markup – Why? How? [Abstract]

In this paper I argue that markup and writing belong to related systems for storing information and/or speech and that there is no clear border between the two. In addition I argue that marking up text done as more or less separate from ordinary writing has been used in Western scholarly work at least since the times of the library in the Museum in Alexandria and up until today. Markup means that some part of a document is identified and some statement is made about the linguistic and/or textual status and interpretative frame of that part or it is extracted for some scholarly purpose. The ways and means by which this is done may vary. It will depend both on the aim: why exactly do we wish to identify this part of the text? And on the technology available: papyrus scrolls and reed pens make for different markup than what is done with computer stored texts. In this paper selected uses for digital text and markup are discussed with examples mainly taken from the electronic edition of Henrik Ibsen’s Writings.