The gathering of collective memory. A pre-literate notion of memory, in a communal way, something commemorative rather than putting a memory in a container. What we thought it was going to be changed completely. We are in that way changing our memory of what it was supposed to be. What are you able to collect? Memories? Objects? People? A collection of texts and people, collecting and composing each other? Somehow it's not even important that we have all the knowledge, what's important is the living, generative sense of the collection.

producing texts

Simon Browne

producing texts

see also annotating, glossing, understanding texts

Historically, the word “text” comes from the Proto-Indo-European word teks-, meaning “to weave, to fabricate, to make; make wicker or wattle framework”. The written word is a text, and so is a conversation, both represent the exchange of shared concepts woven into the fabric of communication. There is also an exchange between written and spoken texts; discussions which influence writing, and writing which sparks conversations.

The digital library creates texts through its catalogue, where the metadata for each entry comprises a paratext1 that not only adds meaning to the core text, but also influences how a reader will discover it in the collection by fields such as tags and description. Metadata which is downloaded and entered automatically comes from online commercial sources has a particular promotional tone. Those who write metadata should do so subjectively; descriptions based on personal significance represent the text and the readers, equivalently.

The library is sustained through producing texts.


Image: Papyrus, an early writing surface made from woven reeds


  1. Genette, G. (1997) Paratexts: thresholds of interpretation. Literature, culture, theory 20. Cambridge ; New York, NY, USA: Cambridge University Press.