MSS, rereading the history of the literary canon

Simon GABAY (Researcher/ Université PSL)
, updated on
27 October 2021

For many years, digital approaches to literature have mainly followed two threads: the linguistic one, of the statistical study of words and forms, and the ecdotal one, of the establishment of the text. MSS (Manuscripts Sales catalogueS) proposes to work on the opening of a third path: that of a computational approach of the reception, at the crossroads of philology and economy.

The project is to resume and complete Katabase, a database of manuscripts sold on the Parisian market in the 19th century. Katabase is based solely on the extraction of information from sale catalogs, a source that is far too imperfect to account for the activity of sellers. It is therefore necessary to cross-reference this first source, describing the sale as it was planned, with a second source, describing the sale as it took place: the auctioneers' minutes, kept in the archives of the city of Paris.

After a first phase of pipeline design and data production carried out in the universities of Neuchâtel and Geneva, this second part of the Katabase project, entitled MSS (Manuscripts Sales catalogueS) , aims to explore the data previously produced by bringing together a specialist in the market (L. Saint-Raymond)), in modern manuscripts (S. Gabay), and in the history of manuscripts (J.-B. Camps).



Direction : Léa Saint-Raymond (ENS-PSL), Simon Gabay (Maître-assistant à l’Université de Genève) et Jean-Baptiste Camps (Maître de conférence at the Ecole des Chartes).


ENS-PSL, Université de Genève, Ecole nationale des Chartes