The Beckett Digital Manuscript Project (2011 - )

The Beckett Digital Manuscript Project (BDMP) is an international collaborative initiative which aims to establish genetic electronic editions of Beckett’s manuscripts.

The project consists of two parts:

  1. A digital archive of Samuel Beckett's manuscripts, organised into 26 research modules. Each of these modules comprises digital facsimiles and transcriptions of all the extant manuscripts relating to an individual text or (in the case of shorter works) a group of texts.
  2. A series of 26 volumes, which will analyse the genesis of texts contained in the corresponding modules.

The project contributes to the study of Beckett's works in the following ways:

  • Enabling users to discover new documents and see how they interrelate in the context of a work's genesis.
  • Bringing together digital facsimiles of manuscripts that are physically dispersed across different holding libraries around the world into a virtual space where they can be studied alongside one another.
  • Increasing accessibility through searchable transcriptions in a constantly updated digital archive;
  • highlighting the interpretive relevance of intertextual references that can be found in the manuscripts;
  • enhancing the preservation of the physical documents.

Team and Partnerships

The project is led by Mark Nixon (University of Reading) and Dirk Van Hulle (University of Antwerp), and is a collaboration between the Centre for Manuscript Genetics (University of Antwerp), the Beckett International Foundation (University of Reading) and the Harry Ransom Center (University of Texas at Austin).With the kind permission of the Estate of Samuel Beckett, the Beckett Digital Manuscript Project combines genetic criticism with electronic scholarly editing, applied to the study of Beckett's manuscripts.