Digital Variants (=DV) is a contemporary authors digital archive founded in 1996 by Domenico Fiormonte and Jonathan Usher at the Department of Italian of the University of Edinburgh. Presently Digital Variants is supported locally by a small research grant (2010-2011) of the Department of Italian Studies, University of Roma Tre.
The aim of the project is to make available on the Internet texts of living authors at different stages of writing. Well-known writers of different literatures, at the height of their activity, agreed to open the "kitchen" of the text, showing us the complex writing phenomena lying under the final version of a work.
As the manuscript writing space fades away replaced by electronic processes, we face the inevitable disappearance of variants (along with that of traditional philological methodologies and concepts). Everyday fewer writers save the different versions of their texts, and the new writing technology implies a loss for the knowledge of the «genèse du texte». DV provides useful tools for exploring of the literary writing process through the digitalization of writers' drafts, pre-texts, and brouillons d'écriture in both text and image formats.
Currently the web site is divided in three main areas. In Authors you can find information and material (such as original interviews, bio-bibliographic references, etc.) on each author, as well as brief descriptions of the texts and variants donated to the archive. Variants contains the historical section of DV's texts published (mainly in HTML) from 1996 up to 2006. Finally, in Texts you will find the new wiki environment created by Desmond Schmidt according to its MVD system, where you can explore, edit and compare the old and new DV texts.