The binational research project “Arthur Schnitzler digital. Digitale historisch-kritische Edition (Werke 1905 bis 1931)” is carried out by scientists of the Bergische University Wuppertal, the University of Cambridge, the University College London, and the University of Bristol in cooperation with the Cambridge University Library, the German literary archive Marbach, and the Trier Centre for Digital Humanities. Founded in the beginning of 2012, the German subproject, which is financed by the Union of the German academies and is set to run for 18 years, processes the works from 1914 onwards. The goal of the project is the development of an innovative digital and historical-critical edition and its publication within the framework of a publicly accessible online platform.
In contrast to other representatives of the classical modernism, the oeuvre of the great Austrian writer Arthur Schnitzler (1862–1931) has not been accessible in a scientific edition so far. While his works from his early creative period (until 1904) are published as a book edition within a Vienna edition-project (de Gruyter 2011ff.), this binational research project wants to make use of the media-specific potential of a purely digital edition for the presentation of his works from 1905 onwards. It aims to virtually combine the comprehensive, currently physically separated, archive holdings, that were mostly rescued to Cambridge in 1938, in the form of an online-portal. Furthermore, it strives to unite the functions of a digital archive and an edition. Philological basis of the historical-critical edition is, next to the various issues of the published texts, the material of his legacy, that comprises over a thousand pages and includes Schnitzler’s preliminary works as well as numerous unpublished works with differing degrees of completion.
With the help of a software solution that was created specifically for the Academy-project by the Trier Center for Digital Humanities., which uses the newest technical possibilities, all handed-down materials – manuscripts as well as typescripts – are transcribed, collated and complemented with comments, registers and the reconstruction of the development history. In different text views (i. a. diplomatic transcription, genetically-interpretative reconstruction and edition) an edition is created which has a multi-perspective view and considers both the dimension of the textuality and the materiality. The edition has the potential to provide systematic insights in an innovative and illustrative way into the writing processes sometimes spanning decades and production-aesthetical principles, that were so typical for Schnitzler’s method of operating.