1. Inventory of the manuscripts
A list, if not exhaustive, then at least as complete as possible of the manuscripts of the Hebrew Names available today, whether digitised or not, will be drawn up, with a precise description of their contents. The planned critical edition will be based on Lagarde's edition, Lambert's lists (184 mss1) and the online manuscripts databases, for the most part interconnected with BiblIndex via the Biblissima+ portal. We will complete the already existing list of this portal, which currently only includes five manuscripts, with links to the available digitised versions of the manuscripts. The publication of this list will be based on the expertise and recommendations of the Biblissima+ technical team, in order to ensure the best possible integration with Biblissima’s repository of manuscripts and early printed works.
2. Collation of manuscripts
For the more than two hundred manuscripts available, the general organisation of the collection will be analysed: the presence or absence of certain biblical books, the order in which they appear, possible systems of cross-references, etc. This approach, carried out in particular on the manuscripts giving the entire work, will make it possible to evaluate the relevance of Lagarde’s organisation. The oldest manuscripts (up to the 10th century), whether they contain the complete text or only fragments, will be collated in full.
Once these two tasks have been completed, a strategy of collations by sampling in the other more recent manuscripts will be followed jointly by the people in charge of the collation and the seminar members, who will have at the same time identified the places subject to variation in the older manuscripts and thus potentially crucial. In addition to these surveys, some manuscripts, if they prove to be particularly interesting, may also be collated in their entirety.
The few manuscripts available in a version compatible with the IIIF standard will be processed via the e-Scriptorium chain. The project will take advantage of the models already trained for Latin scripts and will in turn enrich them. This system will allow collaborative transcription work. The others will be collated and transcribed directly, from digital reproductions when available, otherwise based on an on-site consultation (Oxford, Monte Cassino).
In parallel, the TEI encoding scheme for the texts will be developed, and the XML Mind interfaces prepared for the contributors, so that, as soon as possible, the collations can be typed directly into this framework. From the XML-TEI files thus produced, as soon as the consultation interfaces have been set up, an **evolving synoptic visualisation will be made accessible, initially to the project members only, then, once the whole has been stabilised, to all Internet users.
The collations will be checked as they are being worked on in the research seminar. Thus, eventually, all the key manuscripts will have benefited from a double reading and a systematic verification.
3. Finalising the critical edition
Thanks to the collations, a stemma, if possible, or at least a classification of the manuscripts by families will be made, as well as a selection of the manuscripts to be retained for the edition. The final critical text and its apparatus will be elaborated in the XML Mind input interfaces. The XML files produced will allow, once the scientific work is done, the joint production of a digital critical edition intended to be viewed online and another intended for the printed version in the “Sources Chrétiennes” series.
The digital edition will consist of a collection of XML files, web interfaces, input forms, dynamic or static visualisations, a schema and documentation (ODD), a search engine, a full text index, and an API. It will respect the recommendations for integration of the Biblissima + repositories and can be reused for other bilingual publishing projects in modern languages under the CC-BY licence, primarily of course the French edition. A tutorial will also be proposed.