This blog is build in WordPress, but the site itself likely won’t be. The online edition of “The Celestial Railroad” will need to serve as a repository for scans and text versions of many copies of this text. I could, of course, build such a site from the HTML up, but I’ve been looking at Omeka, developed by the folks at George Mason University’s Center for History and New Media, as a possible platform that will do much of the heavy lifting for me.
Omeka is designed to archive and present historical materials, which is, in essence, exactly what I want to do. Last weekend I attended an Omeka “playdate” at GMU—essentially a day-long training sessi0n—and returned optimistic about the platform as a possible solution for a digital edition like this one.
Before we get there, however, I have to do the bibliographic work—comparing the many editions of the text. For this I will use Juxta, developed by NINES right here at UVA. Juxta will allow me to import and immediately see changes between many different versions of “The Celestial Railroad.” It should help me see lineages of printing, as particular changes propagate through witnesses, and hopefully to notice significant editorial decisions made by particular groups or editors.