Arthur Schnitzler

Digital Critical Edition

Arthur Schnitzler artworks

"Much of what is unfinished, even unsuccessful, will be just as interesting, at the least, for those who still take an interest in me in 50 or 100 years, as what is successful, in finished form.

Cambridge University Libraries are proud to partner with the German Literary Archive at Marbach, the Center for Digital Humanities at the University of Trier and the Arthur-Schnitzler-Archive Freiburg, in support of the cooperative research project, Arthur Schnitzler digital: Digital Critical Edition (Works from 1905 to 1931), conducted by scholars at the Bergische University Wuppertal, the University of Cambridge, and University College London. The edition project is funded by the Akademie der Wissenschaften in Germany and the Arts and Humanities Research Council in the UK, with additional support from the host institutions and other organisations.

In contrast to other representative figures of the classical Modernist period, the works of the great Austrian writer, Arthur Schnitzler (1862-1931), have until recently not been made available in a scholarly edition. Historical critical editions of works from the early period (up to 1904) are now being produced in print and e-book form by a team based in Vienna (de Gruyter 2011ff.). The parallel collaboration between the German and UK teams exploits the potential of digital methods for its editions of works from 1905 onwards. The project draws upon the enormous store of archival material, saved in 1938 and transferred to Cambridge University Library, which still holds the larger part of the literary estate (a smaller collection is housed at Marbach, with individual holdings elsewhere).

The project is making the middle- and late-period works of Schnitzler available in sophisticated, genetically informed editions, with facsimiles of pages from the archive, fully annotated transcriptions, a reading text with commentary, and a set of resources giving insight into the development of the works. Having acted as custodians of a large part of the author's estate for over eighty years, the University Library will now host and maintain the editions as an open access resource, available to all. As well as the editions themselves, this portal provides access to the project website, with its range of bibliographical, biographical and other resources, and to an interactive digital experiment devoted to the exploration of the spaces and places of the author's work, the Schnitzler: Story: Spheres.