About us

Photograph of researchers in the ITSEE project room

The Institute for Textual Scholarship and Electronic Editing is founded on the premise that computer methods are now fundamental to every stage of the editorial process. We use digital tools to locate and view the original materials; to transcribe them into electronic form; to compare the texts and to analyze the patterns of variation; and we publish them electronically.

ITSEE projects range from electronic editions of a single manuscript to large-scale investigation and analysis of complex textual traditions and the development of innovative tools and platforms for digital editing. ITSEE staff have developed internationally-accepted encodings for original source description, transcription and textual apparatus; have created widely-used software for the transcription and collation of manuscripts; have worked with evolutionary biologists on applying their methods to textual traditions; and have collaborated on a number of electronic editing projects.

ITSEE is home to the International Greek New Testament Project's ongoing work on a new edition of the Gospel according to John, led by D.C. Parker, as part of the Novum Testamentum Graece: Editio Critica Maior. Another team is producing an edition of the earliest Latin evidence for the New Testament in surviving manuscripts and quotations in Christian authors. The Birmingham Virtual Manuscript Room (VMR), developed by ITSEE, is the first stage in an ambitious project to develop a online workspace for collaborative editing with partners in Europe (Münster, Trier and the Interedition consortium) and Canada (University of Saskatchewan). Members of ITSEE have led or advised numerous electronic editing projects, including the Codex Sinaiticus Project, the Canterbury Tales Project, the Parliament Rolls of Medieval England, Dante's Monarchia and Johnson's Dictionary on CD-ROM.

ITSEE provides a variety of opportunities for study at all levels. Modules taught by ITSEE staff as part of the Theology and Religion MA make it possible to acquire a training in language, palaeography and editorial practice prior to commencing a doctorate. Doctoral students are currently working on editions of biblical and non-biblical manuscripts, developing tools and software for textual analysis and other projects in the sphere of textual criticism and electronic editing. We have also welcomed researchers from related projects, such as the DGENT Greek-Spanish New Testament Lexicon, for extended periods of study and the opportunity to discuss their work, present it at seminars and share ideas and practice.

We believe that digital methods should be applied to any scholarly text, in any language from any tradition. We welcome approaches from other scholarly editors, who would like our help with the editions they are making.