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.: Smithsonian Digital Editions: Sources and Critical Interpretations

The Smithsonian Institution Libraries presents "Smithsonian Digital Editions: Sources and Critical Interpretations," a new peer-reviewed web-based series of critical editions with scholarly interpretations. The series attempts to balance the dynamic, changing nature of web products with the stability of reference that traditional paper-based scholarly publications provide.

This peer-reviewed, data-rich, web-based publication series will present extensive or varied source materials on a particular subject-matter (such as archival text and images, or multiple editions and sources on a topic of scholarly significance). The series requires that the sources must be carefully transcribed, edited, and annotated in the form of critical or variorum editions, and presented within a peer-reviewed, up-to-date scholarly framework through interpretive essays which assess the sources from various perspectives.

This format is intended to give the reader access to types and amounts of data that would not be possible within traditional print publications, and is particularly well suited to materials which can productively be cross-referenced and cross-linked using multiple criteria (location, date, source, etc.) Dynamic web-linking also is most effective with the series' high standards of accuracy in transcription and annotation for textual source materials. In the critical interpretations portion of the publication series, each essay is fully peer-reviewed; as new critical material is produced. Publications may be updated, and may be cited with the date of retrieval or the date last updated. Within any dynamic publication of the series, abstracts and synopses may be posted prior to publication of completed, peer-reviewed essays or chapters.

The inaugural publication in this series, By Aeroplane to Pygmyland: Revisiting the 1926 Dutch and American Expedition to New Guinea, by anthropologist Paul Michael Taylor, aims to "revisit" a historically important scientific expedition from today's perspective of 80 years later. Along with interpretive essays by Dr. Taylor, the site presents, for the first time, two expedition diaries by the American participants and a wealth of additional expedition records that had never before been published, including over 700 original photographs and about two hours of original film footage, in an annotated and interconnected multimedia format allowing comparison among multiple sources.

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