Huber Digital has released PRISMS, or PRImary Source Materials & Scholarship, a collaborative and open scholarship tool for publishing, collaboration, and analysis of digital editions with primary source materials.

PRISMS is a flexible Open Scholarship platform, with the potential to aggregate all digitised primary source material, and the associated scholarship, in a semantic network. It is being launched with corpora from the Early English Books Online Text Creation Partnership (EEBO-TCP), Eighteenth Century Collections Online (ECCO-TCP), EVANS Early American Imprint Collection (EVANS-TCP), the Deutsches Textarchiv (DTA) extended core corpus, and the Taylor Editions scholarly editions platform. In PRISMS you are able to contribute your own digitised texts (see digitisation training) and also add external texts and contextual resources to the network. For example, if a facsimile corresponding to an EEBO-TCP transcription has been digitised, then the link to the digital facsimile can be added to the network and the page images viewed, alongside the digital text, within PRISMS. […]

PRISMS was born out of the realization that digital editions do not break with the historicity or materiality of the sources they organize and present, but instead remediate and extend them in ways that enable new forms of access, engagement, presentation, and analysis. We subscribe to Matthew Kirschenbaum and Sarah Werner’s view of “the digital as a frankly messy complex of extensions and extrusions of prior media and technologies”, a view that “does not posit a transcendental “digital” that somehow stands outside the historical and material legacies of other artifacts and phenomena” (Matthew Kirschenbaum and Sarah Werner, ‘Digital Scholarship and Digital Studies: The State of the Discipline’. Book History 17 (2014), 406-458, here 408). As a publication and open scholarship platform, PRISMS hopes to participate in a collective effort to narrow rather than broaden the divide of the material and digital in this media continuum.

In PRISMS, we conceptualize digital editions as living entities that perform rather than merely document the remediation they engage in. The scholarship that underpins each digital edition provides the essential context for these remediation processes and collectively they sustain the knowledge network that supports all academic engagement with the texts from any disciplinary viewpoint. PRISMS is designed to allow for the collaborative and collective modelling of this continuum of digital editions and scholarship by placing digital editions, their material basis, and the resulting academic engagement in a linked context, building on the standards and tools provided by the Semantic Web.

This project serves as an innovative example of open scholarship in the digital humanities.

dh+lib Review

This post was produced through a cooperation between Joey van Arnhem, Kathia Ibacache, Robin Miller, and Cassie Tanks (Editors-at-large for the week), Nickoal Eichmann-Kalwara (Editor for the week), and Caitlin Christian-Lamb, Linsey Ford, Pamella Lach, and Alasdair Ekpenyong (dh+lib Review Editors).