In recent years the provision of great amounts of digitized source material from archives, museums and libraries has made spectacular progress. These systems – for which examples are presented and discussed – introduce a new element in the way in which historical sources can be accessed. A high quality visual facsimile is currently cheaper than the transcription of a source, which completely inverts the relationship between various levels of reproducing such a source for the community. The paper discusses, how the possibilities created by these technological developments could – and should – influence the relationships between various players in the continuum between an archive and a critical edition. And it discusses, furthermore, if at a time, when information systems are incomparably more dynamic than printed media, a new understanding of the nature and purpose of an edition is not required. Which ultimately might recover some of the respect for an editor's job, which has been lost in recent years.