E-text in the humanities: Top ten four contributions


E-text permits the ready sharing of information in ways that have never been possible before. E-text is sent and retrieved around the world at lightening speed through the Internet, text messaging, and e-mail. Bodies of information can be updated and reposted within minutes rather than the days or even months necessary with traditional print formats. We need no longer wait for the morning paper to be updated on the events of the world, we can read about them happening almost in real time. Electronic versions of many journal articles are, in fact, available in electronic forms several days or weeks before they appear in their paper and ink format.

Large amounts of e-text can be stored in a very tiny amount of space. Entire libraries can be housed electronically on a single computer, or even just a memory stick. Digital libraries are rapidly gaining ground, and changing the way we work. A wide range of information dependent jobs need no longer be located close to their sources of data, but can access much of the necessary information from virtually anywhere in the world.

"We see so far because we stand on the shoulders of giants," is a popular aphorism going back many hundreds of years. Perhaps never before has this statement been so true. Our digital age has access to vast number of the giants past and present, from every corner of the earth, and ready to serve as our stepping stone, delivered with ease through electronic text.