Description and inclusion


The archive is published under the heading The Voices of Spring, as it is a symbolical title of Maironis’s poetry chosen by the author himself and established as a part of Lithuanian cultural identity. Moreover, the demonstration of the genesis reveals the development of the collection of The Voices of Spring and its transformation into Collected Works by Maironis; the poems that were not included in the latter constitute a very small part of the poet’s oeuvre.


The archive includes all of Maironis’s poetic works, 146 in total: poems, ballads, songs, hymns, satires, translations and small forms and fragments of verses, as well as fragments of poems that were included by the author in some poetry collection with the status of individual work. The aim was to include all versions of each edition that should be justifiably considered authorial in the archive and to convey them in the genetic edition. These versions are the following:


a) the texts of all autographs (rough and clean copies; for detailed descriptions, see Sources), and in the case of corrections – the layers of text distinguished on the basis of the consistency of self-editing;


b) the texts of The Voices of Spring of the author’s copies of the 1913 and 1920 editions with editorial revisions and additions, and the layers of text distinguished on the basis of the consistency of self-editing;


c) the texts of the books The Voices of Spring, (editions of 1895, 1905, 1913, 1920) Collected Works by Maironis (vol. 1, 1927), Raseinių Magdė and Miscellaneous (1909), Our Hardships (the editions of 1913, first part, and 1920) compiled by the poet himself;


d) the texts of the first publications in the periodical press, calendars and collections, and the texts of some repeated publications in analogous sources (if it can be presumed that they were prepared from an autograph).


The relation of the autographs to the author’s active intention raises no doubts. The composition of the collections is authorial, which is proved by Maironis’s notes for the printing house in fair copies. However, it is not at all clear to what extent the poet could remotely supervise the preparation for printing of the 1895 edition of The Voices of Spring in Tilsit; also in the case of his later books, Maironis devoted little attention to proofreading or did not do it meticulously. That is why it is difficult to answer the question which of the spelling, punctuation and graphic layout versions, and even certain segments of the morphological and lexical levels were determined by the poet’s conscious decision, which of them were a result of a dynamic and unsettled authorial writing practice, and which of them were merely innovations or errors of printing house employees. The latter stipulation even more pertains to periodicals because of the authorial character of the editions. Yet the first publications necessarily had to be based on an autograph or its copy, and several repeated publications have been included for the reason that Maironis cooperated with editorial boards of various publications; moreover, textual differences could hardly have appeared as copying errors, as it is difficult to explain them by orthography typical of the given publication.


Type and structure of the editions


Maironis’s verses are published according to four methodological models: documentary, genetic, critical and reading. In other words, each work (poem) is presented in four different editions that are integrated in the digital archive. In its turn, three manuscript and five printed collections as unique authorial wholes are presented in three editions – documentary, genetic and critical.


1) The documentary edition consists of: a) annotated facsimiles, and b) literal transcription. The original graphics in the transcript is conveyed according to the functional rather than diplomatic imitation principle. Both because of the coding economy, and seeking better possibilities to compare the image with the layers of authorial editing distinguished by the editors, the comparison of the facsimile and transcription is implemented in the genesis module. We sought to identify unbound copies of editions or (uncut) copies that were the least damaged during the binding, which can be viewed under Facsimiles as documentation of a unique bibliographic code.


2) The genetic edition (the genesis module) demonstrates the chronological development of the author’s editions of a poem, and allows comparing selectively any two and more entire editions or editing layers of a poem shown in separate windows.


In the case of published editions, the extent of a variant equal to the formal difference of text in a line (from a diacritic to a punctuation mark and an entire line, if the word order and/or syntactical construction is different) is identified and graphically marked. Without the surviving autographic proofs of revision that would allow establishing the concrete editing actions that Maironis performed, formalisation helps us to avoid subjective decisions about the interdependence of revisions.


In the case of autographs and edited author’s copies, the identified extent of a variant is overlapped with the smallest graphically recognisable segment of revision. For example, the changed endings of two adjacent words, if two actions of crossing out were performed, are shown as two variants, though this can be explained as one and the same change of syntactic agreement. This segmentation principle has been chosen with the aim to reduce interpretation to the minimum, as the division of variants into coherent and incoherent is always arbitrary. In its turn, the interface of the genesis module allows the user to see all the varying segments of an entire poem or at least several lines at the same time and decide about their interdependence according to the linguistic and/or poetic logic.


Editorial revisions have been assigned analytic attributes, and the interface allows viewing the nature of the introduction and/or rejection of a concrete variant in the apparatus entry in a sliding window.


3) In the transcript of the critical edition, typesetting errors of publications are registered and commented, and the transcription of autographs and revised author’s copies is presented as a so-called fluid text of a single source – both rejected (strikethrough) and new (ᵛinsertᵛ) variants are shown with additional marking. This presentation differs from the genetic module in that: a) the source is not divided into layers (distinguishing which calls for a radical interpretation), b) alternatives of segments are shown in the same line (strophe) as they were generated and chosen by the author in his editing acts. (Editorial layers shown in the genetic module are a reconstruction useful for the research – such continuous “clean” texts did not exist historically, as editing is dynamic, and the network of textual links changes with each intervention rather than in abstracted stages).


In this edition, variants are arranged in a line one after another (in the case of larger segments that were crossed-out, added or their place was changed – in groups of lines one after another) in a chronological succession, i.e. their position in the original body of text is disregarded. The latter (place of inserts, means of rejecting variants, graphic marks), as well as the reliability of deciphering tricky cases, notes on the material of inscription and other issues of textual criticism are recorded in the source coding file. They are presented as a commentary of a textual scholar next to the body text only in non-standard cases. Thus the user can access textual criticism in two formats of different level of detail: a) for reading online, a fluid text with standardised rendition of authorial editing and minimal commentaries is generated, b) a downloadable xml file contains comprehensive data of textual criticism relevant only for specific scholarly research.

4) The reading edition allows reading poems as works of literature. It is a newly prepared edition of the poetry corpus based on the clean autograph of Collected Works by Maironis, which is considered the most authoritative source. After comparing it with both the edition of Collected Works by Maironis, and with other manuscripts and first publications, regarding separate segments, philologically and historically justified decisions to choose alternative variants have been taken. The aim of such decisions is to achieve that the reading text would correspond as much as possible to the creative practice characteristic of Maironis and his active intention (implemented by an act of writing), which can be reconstructed, and errors and misunderstandings can be avoided. All the cases of editorial interventions are explained in the commentaries. The reading texts of the poems that were not included in Collected Works by Maironis are based on other autographs, and if the latter are missing – on the first publications, by applying analogous principles.


The arrangement of works in the genetic and reading editions corresponds to the authorial sequence of Collected Works by Maironis, and the poems that were not included in the collection are given at the end and arranged according to the chronology of writing, as establishing it is less arbitrary than other possible sequence. The documentary and critical editions allow seeing the original sequence of works in each collection and group of manuscripts separately, or finding the poems by title, first line and chronology (sic! the titles and the first lines of the reading text are presented in the general lists).


Markup and software solutions


We use TEI

An digital archive based on resources encoded in XML (eXtensible Markup Language). It includes more than 1.5 thousand transcripts of author’s versions and editing layers marked up following the recommendations of the TEI Guidelines. Facsimiles can be found in the archive in the jpg format.


The genesis module is based on the open source tool EVT 2.0 (Edition Visualization Technology), created by a group of researchers from the University of Pisa led by prof. Roberto Rosselli Del Turco, adapted for the needs of this archive. The website was created with the open source content management system WordPress (version 5.3).


The editions are not adapted for mobile devices due to the dimensions of graphic information disallowing the use of specific functions on a small screen. However the reading edition should be properly displayed in the browser of a smartphone or a tablet.


Citation Guide and Restrictions of Use


Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License..


All facsimiles of manuscripts and editions are reproduced under permits from the libraries (including private), and museums which hold the originals and must not be reproduced for commercial purposes without prior written permission.


Copyright in the electronic texts, bibliographic information and markup, and the Website is with the Vilnius University. Archive is open access. All material is made available free of charge for studies and research. Teachers and students who want to copy or otherwise use material from the digital archive for research projects, lessons, or courses in a classroom context may freely do so. If you wish to publish traditionally or digitally anything from this Website or use materials for commercial purposes you must obtain permission from University.


Users who wish to cite material from this Website  in online or print publications can use the following information:

Title: Digital archive The Voices of Spring

General Editor: Paulius V. Subačius

Publisher: Vilnius University Press, 2020

eISBN 978-609-07-0500-1

DOI: 10.15388/voicesofspring2020


Date of access: ….


Last updated: 06 November 2020