5.0315 E-Patristics (2/156)

Elaine Brennan & Allen Renear (EDITORS@BROWNVM.BITNET)
Thu, 12 Sep 1991 13:59:45 EDT

Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 5, No. 0315. Thursday, 12 Sep 1991.

(1) Date: Wed, 11 Sep 91 17:09:28 METDST (56 lines)
From: Harry Gaylord <galiard@let.rug.nl>
Subject: On Migne

(2) Date: Wed, 11 Sep 91 15:47 EST (100 lines)
Subject: Forthcoming Brepols CD-ROM

(1) --------------------------------------------------------------------
Date: Wed, 11 Sep 91 17:09:28 METDST
From: Harry Gaylord <galiard@let.rug.nl>
Subject: On Migne

The question about Migne is complicated. It was an important publishing
event which has influenced scholarship ever since, and not all to the good.
Pere Migne made a list for a publishing project both for Latin and Greek.
Then he got a copy of an edition for each work and handed it over to printers
to reprint. The criteria which he used in deciding which edition to copy
would be an interesting research paper. In any case the text in PL and PG
is only an inferior version of the edition which Migne's printers copied.
Many new and improved editions of works have appeared since PL. The largest
collects of these are those of CC in Belgium and CSEL in Vienna. There are
many others spread out among other publishers.
It would not be a paltry thing to draw up the list of editions which should
be included in a similar project today, though there are modern bibliographies
from which one could start. This is in fact what scholars most need as a
tool. Yet having drawn up such a list, one would have to obtain the permission
from authors and publishers to put them on CD-ROM. It should not be called
Migne, but it should include all the works which are included in Migne as
well as those published for the first time since PL appeared.
I understand that Chadwyck-Healey tried to get permission from the Belgian
and Austrian publishers of the series mentioned and well as Edition de Cerf
for Sources Chre&acute;tiennes, but were apparently unsuccessful.
Chadwyck-Healey has now decided to publish Migne on CD-ROM sec. This is
a far less interesting project mentioned above and by Willard.
In the meantime CETEDOC has announced its plan to publish its collection
of Latin texts on CD-ROM, see the announcement on Humanist, Vol 5, No. 0664,
dated 31 Oct 1990.
One difference between the two projects is that Chadwyck-Healey has
announced it will be using the TEI tags for coding. We do not know what
method of encoding is being used by CETEDOC.
The thing that worries me as a scholar is that my university librarian
may get the Chadwyck-Healey advert and think, Ah, I need that because it
is the standard work in the Medieval reading-room. The librarian hasn't
noticed that all the scholars who know what they are doing order up other
editions from the stacks when they are doing their study. The librarian
will pay the high price for this obselete instrumentarium and will not
have the funds when scholars come requesting the better product when
it comes available.
It is a sad thing that not everyone working in medieval studies keeps up
to date with text editions. Those who do not are the ones who always and
only consult Migne. Of course, in many cases it doesn't matter. But in many
it does. Having Migne on CD-ROM and the better editions not will only
perpetuate the wrong use of Migne.
If I want to see what the readings are for a passage are, I need in the
following rank:
1. the best edition whether it be modern or pre-Migne
2. the pre-modern editions
3. Migne's edition.
If I am studying the history of the use of Migne or how mistakes live on
even after they are corrected, a not uninteresting subject, I need all 3
of the above.
(2) --------------------------------------------------------------105---
Date: Wed, 11 Sep 91 15:47 EST
Subject: Forthcoming Brepols CD-ROM

[This is being posted on HUMANIST and ANSAX-L as a contribution to
inform members of those lists about the Brepols/CETEDOC CD-ROM of
Latin patristic and medieval authors. I have no intention of starting a
discussion concerning the relative merits of this collection of texts vs.
the collection being presented in the Chadwyck-Healey CD-ROM of Migne.
Michael Sperberg-McQueen has posted a very good note on HUMANIST
concerning the Migne CD---his point about doing Migne and not Migne's
sources is excellent. There is a place for both of these CD-ROMs in our
world. I should also supply the standard disclaimer that I have no vested
interest in the Brepols/CETEDOC CD-ROM. I just hope to be a user!]

At the recent International Conference on Patristic Studies held in Oxford,
England, representatives from Brepols and CETEDOC demonstrated the
CD-ROM of the CETEDOC Library of Christian Latin Texts. According to the
brochure at the conference, this CD-ROM (which contains about 21 million
words of text) includes: (1) "almost all" of the 250 volumes now available
in the _Corpus Christianorum, Series Latina_, and _Continuatio
Mediaevalis_.; (2) the complete _corpora_ of Augustine, Jerome and
Gregory the Great, with works not yet edited in CC being taken from the
"best editions available in other collections" and destined to be replaced
by CC texts when available; (3) some texts not yet published in the CC, for
example the _Etymologiae_ of Isidore of Seville.

The demonstration of the CD-ROM and associated software by Paul
Tombeur of CETEDOC was convincing, to say the least. The program (which
runs on an MS-DOS machine) makes extensive use of windows to provide an
elegant, easy-to-use, and convenient interface. Searches are defined
through a combination of "fill in the blanks" and "check on the list" moves.
Searches are very fast, due to the fact that the texts are already indexed
on the CD-ROM. Pop-up windows provide a complete list of authors in the
database for selecting "authors" for search (or you can enter authors
individually); the same is true for titles to be searched. For specifying
words for searching, truncation and wild cards are provided, as well as
searching by word ending (e.g. -aliter). Boolean operators are provided for
searches. (These apparently work for occurrences _within sentences_,
but not for simultaneous occurrences that are not within the same
sentence. Sentence generally means what we mean today, but in the case
of a very short sentence, the context searched is a bit "broader", so I was

The results of the search (i.e. references, words in their contexts, etc.)
can be saved on a diskette or directed to a printer.

The program runs on IBM PC/XT/AT machines or compatibles (hard disc not
required but recommended). An IBM AT is recommended, with a CD-ROM
drive with controller card and MS-DOS CD-ROM Extensions 2.0 or higher.

Although I have not been a heavy user of CD-ROM search and retrieval
programs, I must say that the interface designed for this application and
the various help/information windows make this an elegant and easy-to-
use program in comparison with the other programs that I have used. (The
screen presentation uses English, French or German as the language, with
switching between them possible. The color display is rather nice, too.)

The announced date for "publication" is November 1, 1991. Now for the
expensive part of the news: This CD-ROM is not inexpensive, but then we
all know that Brepols publications are not inexpensive either! There are
several categories of pricing. The cheapest is for those who place a
standing order for future updates of the CD-ROM (every 2 years, with a
minimum of 25% new material) and who also subscribe to the TPL---the
price is 75,000 BEF; for "CD-ROM standing order" folks who don't subscribe
to the TPL the price is 94,000 BEF. IF you do not subscribe to future
updates of the CD-ROM the prices are 100,000 BEF and 125,000 BEF for the
two categories described above. Second copies to the same institution
are half-price, as are CD-ROMs purchased by persons whose institutions
have purchased the CD-ROM.

All in all, this looks like a superb tool for scholars in all areas of
patristic and medieval studies. The various microfiche thesauri
published by Brepols make searching the works of authors possible, but
the range and convenience of searching (especially with Boolean
operators) are both expanded with the CD-ROM. I certainly look forward to
searching the works of Gregory the Great right now and the works of
various twelfth-century authors as they are added to the data base. It
certainly would have been easier to locate the source of a passage from
Augustine quoted by Hugh of St. Victor if this database had existed last
spring (or if I had access to the microfiche thesaurus for Augustine)! In
Oxford, as I looked at the results of one search, I had the momentary
feeling that one could be overwhelmed by the data. However, I would
rather deal with the flood than not have it available!

This has been rather long. I hope it proves useful to some, if not all.
Again I provide the standard disclaimer---I have no relationship to
Brepols, the project, etc. If you want a brochure or further information I
assume you could request one from Brepols. The address is Baron Fr. du
Fourstraat 8, B-2300 Turnhout, Belgium. Tel: 32-14-41.54.63. Fax: 32-

Grover A. Zinn, Jr.
Oberlin College