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Abstract

Taking its point of departure in the network analysis of manuscript contexts of Old Norse texts, based on data collected from digital catalogs of Nordic manuscripts, this article examines the possibilities and challenges of the digital manuscript studies. Through a close examination a single Old Norse text and its genre affiliation in the extant manuscripts, the present study reveals the limitations of the application of network analysis to similar cases and identifies the contemporary digital cataloging practice as the main limitation. From the point of view of automated data extraction and from the perspective of new research questions that could be answered through digital data analysis, this article emphasizes the importance of systematic and comprehensive digital manuscript cataloging for further developments in the field of manuscript studies. It discusses some of the key features of manuscript description and suggests crowd-sourcing cataloging as a potential solution to some of the challenges the digital cataloging projects face today.

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