The project proposes to make available the digital critical-genetic edition of Almeida Garrett’s Romanceiro, using autograph manuscripts and expanding the corpus of the romantic editor.

The project of digitally editing Almeida Garrett’s Romanceiro (1799-1854) began in 2013, after a long previous stage of study and analysis of all the known testimonies referring to this work bequeathed by the Portuguese Romantic poet. Along with the printed collections of romances published during his lifetime and the versions, complete or fragmentary, printed in his works of theatre or prose, Garrett bequeathed an abundant manuscript collection (mainly autographs), scattered in different documental nuclei located in Portugal.

In fact, both the characteristics of the recensio and the study of the compositional process of each of Almeida Garrett’s romances revealed a work with some peculiar characteristics that can be simplified as follows:

1. necessarily unfinished;
2. materially dispersed;
3. composed by narrative poems in radically different elaboration stages and that maintain quite heterogeneous relations with their sources, ranging from the mere creative translation of romances written by others, to the romantic recreation of Garrett’s own work, and even by versions of romances considerably close to the conjectural oral tradition of the 19th century.

Such heterogeneity obeys a common purpose of legitimizing and imposing the so-called “popular” Portuguese poetry in the Iberian context, which Almeida Garrett tried to raise to the highest level, as one of the multiple faces of his romantic-nationalist aesthetic programme.

Adding to the characteristics of the Garrettian corpus the ambitious goals of the current edition itself, the digital format imposed itself as the only viable way to editorially “represent” this work (although assuming the well-known risks of instability associated with digital materiality). In fact, it seems to be consensual that the concept of “archive” associated to the Digital Humanities emerges today significantly amplified and as an element that enhances philological studies in general and critical editions in particular.

The critical digital edition that will be made available in the future was born with a post-doctoral project directly supported by the Foundation for Science and Technology through the granting of an individual scholarship in Literary Studies (2013-2019), counting, since 2019, with the financial support of a Research Project in the fields of Portuguese Language and Culture of the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation. The present critical-genetic edition of Almeida Garrett’s Romanceiro aims to:

– To reproduce, resorting to the reconstruction ope ingenii, the last known editorial plan of Garrett for the Romanceiro, which is embodied in p. XLV of the “Introduction” to the II volume of the Romanceiro, in 1851, of which the writer only published the first two books;
– To provide rigorously established texts, a design that should not be exclusive to hyper-specialized critical editions and still uncommon in cyberspace.

By adopting the long-standing, but always effective concept of “lectura asistida” formulated by Pedro Sánchez-Prieto Borja (2003), the reader will be able to choose between different levels of reading, which converges with the idea that the edition can be aimed at various types of reader. This is a desideratum that the critical edition on paper cannot assume, due to the intrinsic technological limitations associated with its intrinsic materiality.

The construction of archival editions is rare in the context of the Portuguese philological tradition. This critical-genetic edition is based on that concept, equipping itself with different tools in the field of digital philology and intends to function as a model to be replicated in other classic works of Portuguese literary heritage.

The project was funded by Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation (2019-2021),Centre for Research in Arts and Communication (2014-2020), Institute for the Study of Literature and Tradition (2020 -) and FCT’s Individual Scientific Employment Stimulus Tender [CEECIND/00058/2018].

The project team consists of Sandra Boto (lead researcher), Pere Ferré, Juan Manuel Escribano, Bruno Ministro, Isa Mestre and Maria Helena Santama (consultant). Partners include the Centre for Research in Arts and Communication, the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation and the Ramón Menéndez Pidal Foundation.

Publications produced under the project:

Boto, Sandra (2019). “O Espólio Literário de Almeida Garrett: notas em torno dos Documentos 59 a 63 da Biblioteca Geral da Universidade de Coimbra e da Coleção Futscher Pereira”, Verista Internacional de Língua Portuguesa series IV 36 (2019);

Boto, Sandra (2019), “La collatio semiautomática al servicio del Romanceiro de Almeida Garrett”, in Pragmática Y metodologías para el estudio de la Poesía Medieval, published by Josep Lluís Martos; Natália A. Mangas; 115-126, Alacant, Espanha, Universitat d’Alacant, 2019;

Boto, Sandra (2018), “A filologia digital em discussão: o caso da edição do Romanceiro de Almeida Garrett”, in Digital Culture – a State of the Art, published by Boto, Sandra; Tavares, Miriam. Coimbra, Portugal, Grácio Editor, 2018;

Boto, Sandra (2016), “Algumas notas sobre o sapo negro no âmbito da edição crítica das obras completas de Almeida Garrett“, Abenámar – Revista Fundación Menéndez Pidal

Boto, Sandra (2015), “Almeida Garrett e a tradição antiga”, in Miscelánea de estudios sobre el romancero – Homenaje a Giuseppe Di Stefano, published by Pere Ferré, Ana Valenciano, Pedro Piáro Ramírez, 95-118, SEvilla, Spain, Editorial Universidad de Sevilla, 2015

Related Works