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Textual scholarship (or textual studies) is an umbrella term for disciplines that deal with describing, transcribing, editing or annotating texts and physical documents.
Textual research is mainly historically oriented. Textual scholars study, for instance, how writing practices and printing technology has developed, how a certain writer has written and revised his or her texts, how literary documents have been edited, the history of reading culture, as well as censorship and the authenticity of texts. The subjects, methods and theoretical backgrounds of textual research vary widely, but what they have in common is an interest in the genesis and derivation of texts and textual variation in these practices.
There are many ways to think if you are a textual scholar, some are interested in what the author is trying to intend or there are those who seek to see how the text is transmitted. Textual scholars produce their own editions of what they discovered.
The historical roots of textual scholarship date back to the 3rd century BCE, when the scholarly activities of copying, comparing, describing and archiving texts became professionalized in the Library of Alexandria.
^Greetham, David C. (1992). Textual Scholarship: An Introduction. Psychology Press. ISBN0-8153-0058-1.
^Greetham, David C.: Textual Scholarship. An Introduction. Garland Reference Library of the Humanities 1417. New York & London: Garland Publishing, Inc. 1994 (1992)
^Greetham, David C.: "What is Textual Scholarhip?". In A Companion to the History of the Book. Eds. Simon Eliot & Jonathan Rose. Blackwell companions to literature and culture 48. Chichester: Wiley-Blackwell 2009 (2007)