Internet Shakespeare Editions


4.6. Collation

The collation will be contained in a separate file. You will be provided with a template in XML format (see below, 4.6.8-9, for examples). The format will allow you to create collations that are less runic and more accessible as an independent document than the cramped notations made necessary by the printed page. The format of the Textual Companion to the new Oxford Complete Works can serve as a partial guide. Where necessary you will be able to add a brief note on an individual reading; longer discussions should be included in the commentary. Because the Collation will be a separate, self-contained document, each lemma will be identified by TLN, keyed to the modern edition. From the one collation file, readers will be able to generate a number of different views of textual variants.

4.6.1. Departures from the copy text

The collation should record all editorial departures from the copy text, as far as substantive readings are concerned. This applies to stage directions, as well as text (see "stage Directions" above, 4.4.6.). Minor stylistic corrections to the stage directions in square brackets, such as "Draw[s] his sword," "Enter [the] Doctor," etc., need not be collated; the editorially added matter will be clearly marked by the brackets.

4.6.2. Where there are two early texts of independent authority

The collation must record all cases in which the text not chosen as copy text departs, in substantive matters, from the copy text.

4.6.3. Changes in punctuation.

Collate changes in punctuation only when they bear on a textual argument; when modernization entails a choice between two senses possible in the original; or when punctuation is altered to correct the sense of the copy text.

4.6.4. Changes in spelling

Collate changes in spelling only when modernization entails a choice between two meanings possible in the original, or when the spelling bears on a textual choice or argument. In some instances, it may be possible to animate such variants.

4.6.5. Collation of subsequent editions

Collate subsequent editions of importance, particularly twentieth-century editions, whenever, but only when, a reading is offered which you deem worthy of serious consideration along with the one you yourself have chosen. This is of course mandatory when a previous editor's reading or conjecture is discussed in the commentary. In addition to those early editors whose readings you accept, the list of editions all of whose emendations you should include (but not necessarily discuss) begins with the Globe or the Cambridge (1863-66), which were long hugely influential and form the basis of most on-line texts today, and continues with Dover Wilson's New Cambridge, Kittredge, Alexander, the New Arden, New Penguin, Pelican, Riverside, the still New(er) Cambridge (of the 80s and 90s), the Oxford Complete Works (1986), the single-volume Oxfords, David Bevington's HarperCollins, the New Folger, the Third Arden, the revised Riverside, and the New(er) Penguins which Stephen Orgel and A.R. Braunmuller are supervising as general editors.

4.6.6. Historical collation

It is not necessary to give the full textual history of a reading; only the earliest source of a reading should be cited (e.g. where a text went into several quartos, and the later quartos are not of independent authority, you do not need to record these later readings, nor the readings of subsequent editors when these readings are mistaken or misconceived).

4.6.7. When in doubt

When in doubt whether to include a collation, include it with a query to the General Textual Editor.

4.6.8. Format of collations

The template you will receive provides a framework for the collations. You can copy and paste it into your working document as often as you need.

<coll><ln tln="xxxx"/>

<lem resp="Q1">nnnn</lem>
<rdg resp="F1">xxx</rdg>
<rdg resp="Q1">xxx</rdg>
<rdg resp="Name">xxx</rdg>


a) Each collation is surrounded by the tags <coll> . . . </coll>.

b) The TLN can be a single number, a number with a decimal addition, or a range of numbers. The decimal addition is needed for lines where the Folio has no equivalent (in plays where a quarto is the copy text, for example). Express a range of numbers using the full number in each case: <ln tln="1003-1009"/>, for example. NOTE: where you wish to collate a number of repeated instances on different lines, mention the other instances inside the <general_note></general_note>, or create separate, individual collations for each. Do not include them in the TLN tag.

c) The line number (xxxx in the template) is the line of the current scene in standard MLA format (1.3.143). Again, for a range of numbers use the full number at the start and end of the range.

d) A lemma can be a single word, a phrase, or a longer section indicated by ellipsis (three periods separated by spaces). The lemma is not only the word or phrase for which there are variants, but also the "anchor" which the reader will click on to see the full collation. For this reason, it is important that you design the lemma with three points in mind:

  1. A single-word lemma must be long enough to permit clear visibility of the underline that indicates a variant, and to permit easy clicking. Thus, for example, a single "I" or "a" should be avoided; add a second word to the lemma and to each reading that you list.
  2. Since the computer will find the first example of the lemma in a given TLN range, the lemma must be unambiguous. If a word is repeated in a line, and you are referring to the second instance, you should again include an additional word before or after.
  3. When you indicate a longer passage using ellipsis, the collation will be linked from the first part of the passage, before the ellipsis. Thus this initial section of the lemma must be of sufficient length and be unambiguous.

NOTE: it is very important that the lemma is exactly the same as it is recorded in your edition (including final punctuation if the final punctuation is part of your collation). Otherwise the computer will not be able to match it, and there will be an error. The safest way to ensure accuracy is to copy and paste from your edition, making sure to update any collations should you later revise your modern text. If the lemma includes a TLN tag (as may happen especially in prose passages), delete the tag but make a note for the Coordinating Editor, in a separate file.

e) Both for the lemma and for each reading, the attribute "resp=" refers to the edition or editor responsible for the reading. In the template above, the default is "Q1" (ISE style requires a number after each folio, quarto, or octavo mentioned); where the copy text is a quarto the template will provide a default of Q1. You will, of course, change this as necessary.

e.1) You might well be the editor responsible for the reading if you have introduced an emendation never before proposed.

f) The template provides three spaces for readings. You should delete lines where these are not needed, and add further lines by copying and pasting if you are recording more than three readings.

g) Where a given reading is shared by more than one edition, either cite only the first instance, or create a second <rdg> tag for it. 

h) List readings in chronological order. Advanced display of complex variants

See this page for the tagging required to display complex variants and ambiguities in the text: relineation between different versions, added passages, variants significant enough that the reader should be alerted to them even when collations are not being displayed, and animation when a single word is irreducibly ambiguous.

4.6.9. Adding notes to collations

Sometimes you will want to add a brief note to a lemma or reading: such common information as "and so throughout." In each case, enclose the note in the tags <note> </note>, as in the example in the next section. You can add a note to a specific reading by including it within the <lem></lem> or <rdg></rdg> tags thus:

<lem resp="Cambridge">This would . . . and all.<note>Shared line.</note></lem>

If you want the note to refer to the collation as a whole, using the provided <general_note> section.

Some frequently used notes should be indicated by adding the appropriate attribute to the <rdg> tag. "Substantively," "Conjectured," and "Not in [text]" can be consistently rendered when the tagging reads thus:

<lem resp="Pope" subst="true">Haply</lem>
<rdg resp="Blayney MS" conj="true">you—</rdg>
<rdg resp="Q1" omit="true"></rdg>

4.6.10. Collating press variants

Collations can record press variants in specific copies (witnesses) of an edition. The collations can record the variant readings of witnesses, and can indicate whether they represent the initial state or the proofread state. While it is true that it is often difficult to be sure of the direction in which a change was made, the editor will need to make a judgment as to which reading represents the first or second (or even third) state of the text.

Each collation will include, as a header, a list of witnesses which record the short form, the long form, and the location of the copy:

  <witness id="Q1a" longid="Huth">British Library, Huth 46</witness>
  <witness id="Q1b" longid="Devonshire">Devonshire [full description]</witness>
  <witness id="Q1c" longid="Petworth">Petworth [full description]</witness>
  <witness id="Q1d" longid="Capell">Capell [full description]</witness>

In recording individual variants, you can identify specific witnesses using the short form, and in addition indicate whether the reading records the first or subsequent state. Here is an example of a collation of multiple witnesses in two states:

 <ln tln="259">1.2.42</ln>
 <lem resp="Q1b Q1c" state="2">alas, may I</lem>
 <rdg resp="Q1a Q1d" state="1">may I</rdg>
 <rdg resp="F1">(alas may I)</rdg>

Note 1: where more than one witness is recorded, the witnesses are separated by a space.

Note 2: where a reading is shared by all extant copies of an edition the generic short form is used (Q1 etc).

For display, the short form will appear when collations are shown colour-coded, the long form in the window that appears when a collation is clicked on.

4.6.11. Sample collations

Please ensure that your collation file includes an initial HTML comment that records the name of the author, the text being collated, the date of creation, and the most recent revision.


<!--Collations to As You Like It by David Bevington. Created 2006-12-05, most recently modified 2007-07-07.-->

It is a good idea to include the date of most recent revision in the file name so that you can be sure not to work on an older file.


Jn_M_annotations 2007-08-11.txt

A basic collation:

 <ln tln="110">34</ln>
 <lem resp="F3">she</lem>
 <rdg resp="F1">hee</rdg>

A collation where the reading originates in the copy text, but where the copy text's spelling has been modernized:

 <ln tln="57">1.1.17</ln>
 <lem resp="F1">villain</lem>
 <rdg resp="F1">villaine</rdg>
 <rdg resp="Oxford 1986">villein</rdg>

A collation with inserted notes:

 <ln tln="226">1.2.16</ln>
 <lem resp="Malone" subst="true">Touchstone</lem>
 <rdg resp="F1">Clow. <note>and so occasionally throughout play, as at TLN 1213, 2341, and 2345</note></rdg>

A collation where the copy text omits a word or passage:

<ln tln="159">1.1.41</ln>
<lem resp="F2">Oliver</lem>
<rdg resp="F2">Oli.</rdg>
<rdg resp="F1" omit="true"></rdg>

A collation that covers a longer passage:

 <ln tln="313-314">1.2.60</ln>
 <lem resp="Pope 1723">Come on . . . forwardness</lem>
 <rdg resp="F1">Duke. Come on . . . intreated / His owne . . . forwardnesse. <note>as verse</note></rdg>

4.6.12. Omissions and changes in font

Use the form <rdg resp="Q1" omit="true"></rdg> for omissions. In the display on the site this will appear as "Not in Q1." If the omission requires more information, use a standard <note> format. Use "<note>Not italic in Q1.</note>" to indicate an editorial change of type font, where that change bears on a textual argument.

4.6.13. Conjectures and readings of earlier editors

Indicate former editors' conjectures, as distinct from emendations, by

<rdg resp="yy" conj="true">...</rdg>

Use this tagging to indicate that an emendation accepted into the text, or recorded in the collation, is substantially that offered by a previous editor:

<lem resp="Capell" subst="true">[Exit attendant.]</lem>

4.6.14. Line breaks

Indicate line breaks in a quotation, by a forward slash, thus: / (with a space before and after).

4.6.15. Sigla

The following is a list of sigla for general editions likely to be collated. There will also be play-specific editions, of course, but it is important to keep the sigla consistent across editions where possible to allow for future exploration of editorial practices.

In general, the ISE convention is to use editors' names for single plays (Mowatt & Werstine, not Folger; Craik, not Arden 3) and for singly-edited complete works (Malone, Bevington), but institutional names for complete works with multiple editors (RSC, Oxford, Norton).

Note that a lemma that originates with your own edition should omit the resp=""part of the tag. This will be displayed "This Edition" in the popup window.

Alexander 1951
Bevington 1980
Bevington 1987
Bevington 1992
Boswell 1821
Cambridge 1863-66
Capell 1767-68
Capell, Notes 1779-83
Coleridge 1874
Collier 1842-44
Collier 1853
Collier 1858
Craig-Bevington 1973
Delius 1882
Dyce 1857
Dyce 1864-67
Evans 1974
F2 1632
F3 1664
F4 1685
F5 c. 1700
Folger 1992-
Hanmer 1743-44
Herford 1903
Hudson 1851-56
Hudson 1881
Johnson 1765
Keightley 1864-66
Kittredge 1936
Knight 1838-43
Malone 1790
Mason 1778
Mitford 1844
Munro 1957
Oxford 1986
Pope 1723-25
Pope 1728
Rann 1786-94
Rowe 1709
Rowe 1714
RSC 2007
Singer 1856
Sisson 1954
Staunton 1858-61
Steevens 1773
Theobald 1726
Theobald 1733
Theobald 1740
Theobald 1757
Walker 1860
Warburton 1747
Wordsworth 1883
Wright 1891

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