Wriggling Thoughts: Searchable Ormulum

This is going to be a very short post, but I thought I’d go ahead and begin pondering the usefulness of transcribing Holt into a searchable online document.

Similar to the accessibility and the search-ability of my translations, we would finally have a digital edition of the Ormulum that we could use for text mining and other fun data analysis. Right now, you can find the 1878 edition freely available online (just Google it), but it’s either in a PDF or in the unhelpful digital format from the Internet Archive. The Archive of Early Middle English has the images for their digital edition of MS Junius 1 (yes!!), but it will take some time before they have edited and coded it. In the meantime, might it be useful to have even the flawed Holt and White version online somewhere?

Feel free to post your thoughts.

About carlamthomas

I'm an Assistant Professor of English at Florida Atlantic University, and I earned my PhD from New York University and my BA and MA from Florida State University. It's good to be a Floridian again. My concentration is Early Middle English literature, language, and manuscript culture although this stretches from Old English influences to later Middle English iterations of developments in my period. I'm also an intersectional feminist, trying to inject such theory into some of my newer work as well as my activist work with the Medievalist of Color.
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2 Responses to Wriggling Thoughts: Searchable Ormulum

    • carlamthomas says:

      Yes, absolutely. You’re correct, but I tend to forget it exists there because I’m equally unsatisfied with their format. It could certainly function in the way that my short post suggests, except that when searching for words with accents (though strangely the /ȝ/ isn’t a problem). The accents appear as a superscript em-dash, like this: “U¯¯t.” So, unless you know that it’s going to appear like that, when you search for “ut,” the word you’re looking for doesn’t show up. I don’t particularly believe the accents are necessary for reading, so I wouldn’t include them. In a sense, we need something we can scrub for something like GitHub easily, and this isn’t it. Also, it simply replicates the page format of the printed text, which I dislike as well. I guess I’m just being picky…

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