About this Project

The CEDAR project aims to produce critical editions for the digital age. It brings together six faculty members from four different departments and schools in the University of Chicago as well as scholarly advisors from beyond the University. The textual foci of the project are four distinct literary corpora: English (Shakespeare), Assyriology (Gilgamesh), Biblical Studies (the book of Genesis), and South Asian literature (Middle Bengali poetry). Employing the OCHRE database software developed in the Oriental Institute, CEDAR is creating digital text editions that are maximally descriptive and data-rich in their representation of texts and their media (including scrolls, codices, clay tablets, etc.). By comparing the features of exemplary texts studied in the respective fields represented in this project and by examining reflexively the scholarly practices of these fields, CEDAR will abstract the common challenges presented to philologists everywhere and apply lessons learned from one textual corpus to other texts written in quite different scripts, languages, and cultural contexts. In its software engineering component, CEDAR will follow the time-honored practice of identifying the common structural elements and algorithms inherent in a seemingly heterogeneous collection of data and methods, an approach that yields simpler, more elegant code that can be used for many different purposes. The intent is to make the critical editions produced by CEDAR available online in open access format with a sophisticated analytical user interface.

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