From Graveyard to Graph: Reappraising Textual Collation in a Digital Paradigm

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This paper focuses on the visualisation of collation result, and deals with the issues that arise when representing a wealth of information in a meaningful way. It takes the collation software HyperCollate as a touchstone to investigate the topic of representing complex data to advance literary research. The representation of collation result varies according to research objective but in general it needs to allow (1) discovery of patterns and (2) (interactive) exploration of variance on different levels of granularity. As the algorithm of HyperCollate is based on the rich data structure of a hypergraph, it outputs a result that is equally abounding in complex information. The hypergraph contains both text and (TEI/XML) markup, which results in multiple “dimensions”: of the text, of the markup, and of the variation between both. This poses original challenges for the representation of the result, raising questions of a practical as well as a philosophical kind.
Original languageEnglish
JournalDigital Scholar
Publication statusPublished - 2018


  • collation
  • visualisation


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