Critica del manoscritto base. Pairwise and multiple alignment for the automatic collation.

E. Spadini

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperScientificpeer-review


The aim of this paper is to analyse the reasons and the consequences of the use of a base-witness for the collation, in relation with the major textual scholarship traditions. Using a base-witness means collating each witness against the same one, i.e. the base. We shall focus on collation practices, and in particular on digital collation; three classes of algorithms have been used for this purpose: pairwise alignment, progressive multiple alignment and non-progressive multiple alignment. The results obtained using these different procedures will be shown and compared. In line with recent contributions (among which Sculley and Pasanek; Burdick et al., 101; Pierazzo, 110), this paper argues that the use of digital techniques should come with a critical understanding of the mechanisms informing those techniques, in order to better choose among them and to demystify the feeling of objectivity and truth coming from the result of a computational process; engaging on explicit ground with the digital side of Digital Humanities in general, and digital collation in particular, eventually means recognizing and promoting the interpretative nature of any investigation in the Humanities. Bibliography Andrews, Tara. “Digital Techniques for Critical Edition.” In Armenian Philology in the Modern Era: From Manuscript to Digital Text, Ed. V. Calzolari and M. E. Stone. Leiden: Brill, 2014. Burdick, Anne, Johanna Drucker, Peter Lunenfeld, Todd Presner, and Jeffrey Schnapp. Digital_Humanities. Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press, 2012. Dekker, Ronald Haentjens, Dirk van Hulle, Gregor Middell, Vincent Neyt, and Joris van Zundert. “Computer-Supported Collation of Modern Manuscripts: CollateX and the Beckett Digital Manuscript Project.” Digital Scholarship in the Humanities 30, no. 3 (September 1, 2015): 452–70. Dekker, Ronald Haentjens, and Gregor Middell. “Computer-Supported Collation with CollateX”. 2011. <> Froger, Jacques. La Critique des textes et son automatisation, Dunod 1968. Pierazzo, Elena. Digital Scholarly Editing: Theories, Models and Methods. Ashgate, 2015. Robinson, Peter. “Collate 2, and the design for its successor: CollateXML (now, CollateX)”, 2007. <> Schmidt, Desmond Allan. “Merging Multi-Version Texts: A General Solution to the Overlap Problem.” In Proceedings of Balisage: The Markup Conference 2009, Vol. vol. 3. Balisage Series on Markup Technologies. Montréal, Canada, August 11 - 14, 2009, 2009. Schmidt, Desmond, and Robert Colomb. “A Data Structure for Representing Multi-Version Texts Online.” Int. J. Hum.-Comput. Stud. 67, no. 6 (June 2009): 497–514. Sculley, D., and Bradley M. Pasanek. ‘Meaning and Mining: The Impact of Implicit Assumptions in Data Mining for the Humanities’. Literary and Linguistic Computing 23, no. 4 (1 December 2008): 409–24. Spencer, Matthew, and Christopher J. Howe. “Collating Texts Using Progressive Multiple Alignment.” Computers and the Humanities 38, no. 3 (2004): 253–70.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2016


  • collation
  • medieval literature
  • manuscript
  • manuscript transmission


Dive into the research topics of 'Critica del manoscritto base. Pairwise and multiple alignment for the automatic collation.'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this