I am very excited that Essex is the first UK university to subscribe to COVE, the digital editing platform.

As Director of the Centre for Interdisciplinary Research in Literary Studies I see many benefits and I want to spread the word about what it offers and how it will transform the reading experience in many subjects, in arts and humanities and beyond.

What is COVE?

COVE provides opportunities for our students and researchers to learn how to become editors and to produce new editions.

It stands for Collaborative Organisation of Virtual Education. It’s a platform that enables digitised texts to be accessed and edited. This could be an anthology, a novel, a play, or any other text that has been digitised and is in the platform.

When would digital editing be a useful thing to do?

Readers in literary studies, creative writing, theatre studies or other subjects, are familiar with having a printed copy of the book open on their knee or an ebook on their computer.

Don’t you feel tempted to annotate your copy of the text and then want to share it with others?

In the seminar room and off-campus, COVE enables you to create your own edition and add your own annotations. You can work as a group on an edition.

Why would you want to get involved in digital editing?

Are you thinking about a future career in publishing? If so, COVE provides guidance on how to edit and to develop your skills in a way that would be useful.

COVE will give us the means of energising the reading experience. Digital editing is fun!

What are the wider benefits of COVE?

It’s hard to access texts that are out of print and this means that it’s hard to study and teach them.

One excellent example of the wider benefits of COVE is the project led by COVE founder Professor Dino Franco Felluga at Purdue University to diversify the curriculum.

COVE will enable us to create new anthologies; it will bring us together by creating and sharing digital editions; and it will give us skills in editing to help with a future career in publishing.

How to find out more

On 4 December 2023 the Centre for Interdisciplinary Research in Literary Studies and Faculty of Arts and Humanities at the University of Essex are hosting Professor Dino Franco Felluga, Purdue University, to talk about the digital editing platform, COVE and to show us what it can do.

Professor Felluga will demonstrate the teaching tool, COVE Studio.

How do I use COVE?

Staff and students can login using My Essex. With COVE Studio, you can create custom anthologies that draw from over 17 million words of vetted, ADA-compliant material, the equivalent of a 68-volume encyclopedia.

Students can then annotate the texts, thus claiming ownership and getting excited about reading the works you assign. In addition, you can upload your own PDF or image documents, and make them available for annotation.

If you'd like to get involved, join us on 4 December for a demonstration.