The Relationship Between a Historical Manuscript and its Digital Surrogate
Keywords:digitization of manuscripts, medieval manuscripts, rare manuscripts, digital research, digital scholarship
Through the digitization of rare or special manuscripts, academics have researched the impact of digitization and its relationship with the physical manuscript itself. Past literature has focused on how the digital can complement the physical, the changing manuscript’s identity when its digitized, and past research around the quality of a digital surrogate. The importance of carefully considering the impact of the quality of a digitized manuscript is essential. However, every edition (physical or digital) changes in some way and moves further from the original, be it an issue with the digitization or pages being removed or altered in the physical manuscript. Though some scholars find that content may be lost when digitized, there can also be more information added by cataloguers. Ultimately, digital surrogates allow for wider access, but their quality must be considered and properly addressed in research. A researcher who is aware of and within their work clearly states the relationship between the digital surrogate and the physical manuscript will find that it is a great support for any researcher.
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