Press Release nr00-13
Press Release · Thursday, November 11, 1999

Washington, DC

Press Release
November 11, 1999
The NHPRC Demonstrates Electronic Prototypes of Documentary Editions at the National Archives

Washington, DC. On Wednesday, November 17, 1999, the National Historical Publications and Records Commission, will host the presentation of a series of prototypes created by the Model Editions Partnership to demonstrate standard approaches for the publication of historical documentary editions in electronic form.

The presentation will take place at 2:45 p.m. in the theater in the National Archives Building, 700 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, between 7th and 9th Streets. The working press is invited to attend.

Letterpress historical editions are printed on paper designed to last 300 years. If fragile electronic text is to survive even five years, it must outlive the rapid changes in hardware and software. The Model Editions Project set out to develop a standard markup scheme for documentary editions, based upon the architecture of the Standard Generalized Markup Language (SGML). Four of the prototype mini-editions are based on full-text searchable document transcriptions; two are based on document images; and one is based on both images and text.

Led by Project Director David R. Chesnutt, the Partnership is comprised of scholars from seven historical documentary editing projects, located in six states and the District of Columbia. The Prototype Editions are The Documentary History of the First Federal Congress, 1789-1791 (George Washington University); The Papers of Nathanael Greene (Rhode Island Historical Society); The Papers of Henry Laurens (University of South Carolina); The Lincoln Legal Papers (Illinois Historic Preservation Agency); The Papers of Margaret Sanger (New York University); The Papers of Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony (Rutgers University); and The Documentary History of the Ratification of the United States Constitution (University of Wisconsin at Madison).

The Partnership received major funding from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC), the grant-making body affiliated with the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), and substantial support from the University of South Carolina. Since the early 1950s, the NHPRC has supported the publication of papers of American historical figures and the documents of major historical events. Ann Clifford Newhall serves as Executive Director of the Commission.

For additional PRESS information, please contact the National Archives Public Affairs staff at (301) 837-1700 or by e-mail.


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