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Research into the origin and publication of literary works is traditionally performed on the basis of handwritten and printed material. With the entry of the computer in the author’s workplace, these sources are at risk of disappearing. This project aims to explore how research into the origin of texts can work with born-digital material. For this purpose, questionnaires were completed, interviews held with authors and the writing process of a number of authors was recorded in real time. The project is carried out by Floor Buschenhenke, supported by Peter de Bruijn and  Peter Kegel. The results of this project will be digitally presented in collaboration with the Letterkundig Museum to a wide audience. More information and the background to this project can be found here.


Picture: (To record notes, I use a laptop, tablet, desktop computer, mobile phone or typewriter.)

During the preparation of the research, contact has been made with researchers from the University of Antwerp and lecturers at vocational colleges for writers. The options of continued collaboration with these partners will be explored in the course of the investigation.

First results of the writers’ survey

For the research project The Literary Work 2.0, 160 Dutch authors were questioned about their work process by means of a digital questionnaire. The first results are already known. What stands out is that these writers largely work digitally, but that they are still very attached to pen and paper, for example, to make notes with. Despite the diverse supply of word processing software, 91 % of them do their writing in Microsoft Word. Numerous draft versions are retained, comparable to the situation before the arrival of the PC, although it currently often happens unconsciously, by means of automatic backups. One third of the authors share (fragments of) the story as it takes shape online.

Want to know more? Here are the results (pdf).


Floor Buschenhenke