About the Centre

Focus of Research

Bibliography encompasses not only the identification of authors, titles, publishers, and locations of manuscript and published materials. Under the rubrics of Historical, Analytical, and Descriptive, Bibliography involves the examination of manuscripts and books as physical objects to determine their component materials, their manufacture, their provenance, and the history of events related to their existence as physical, intellectual, and social objects.

Textual studies encompass investigations of the genetic, production, and social histories of texts: composition, revision, production, manufacturing, adaptation, and reception of texts.

Such investigations

  • collect and organize the evidence of material textuality
  • construct scholarly archives, editions, and electronic ‘knowledge sites’
  • enable exploration of the interpretive consequences of such investigations.

To these ends the Centre allies itself with and will help to enable research projects lead to textually grounded scholarly editions, textual criticism, genetic criticism, adaptation studies, electronic knowledge sites, and historically sophisticated interpretive criticism.

Book history includes investigations of the social, economic, political, and industrial constraints and supports for authorship, publishing, reviewing, censorship, adaptations, and reading. The CTS seeks to ally itself with investigations that explore book history as a means of understanding the historical significance of texts and text histories, and the influences of such studies on the production of scholarly editions, textual study, and historically oriented criticism.

Sources of Knowledge

While the central focus of attention at the CTS is likely to be on literary texts of the last centuries, we acknowledge that the relation between knowledge and documents in many fields is analogous to that in literature. Musical compositions frequently begin with manuscript compositions that often have printing histories involving editors and collaborations. Other fields, from philosophy to dance, find primary materials in documentary forms that are subject to change in transmission and subject to social pressures at every recreation and performance. Studies of these histories are within the purview of the CTS.

Creation of New Knowledge

The CTS acknowledges the important role of textual scholarship in the creation of print scholarly editions, electronic scholarly editions, and the role of collectors and libraries in creating archives of manuscript and printed matter and in creating electronic access to these materials. Traditionally these kinds of activities have been designed in proprietary ways, to be used as the creators have intended them to be used.

The CTS is committed to promoting an atmosphere of scholarship that creates and makes access to primary materials in environments that encourage users to invent their own uses and purposes relative to them. On the one hand, it seeks to preserve and maintain the materials of knowledge production; and, on the other, it seeks methods of presentation that provide the materials and received knowledge in ways that encourage the creation of new knowledge.

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