The European Society for Textual Scholarship

Welcome to ESTS!

The European Society for Textual Scholarship provides an international and interdisciplinary forum for the theory and practice of textual scholarship in Europe. It has been established in close collaboration with the Society for Textual Scholarship (North America).

The bylaws were approved by the membership on December 2005 and updated in March 2012. A new board has been elected and had its first meeting in 2006.

The president of the society is João Dionísio, Centro de Linguistica da Universidade de Lisboa; the secretary is Aurélien Berra, Université Paris-Ouest Nanterre La Defénse; and the membership secretary is Jan Gielkens, Huygens Instituut, Den Haag.

General enquiries may be made by e-mail to the President, João Dionísio, or the Secretary, Aurélien Berra.

For membership enquiries contact Jan Gielkens by e-mail or post:

Join/Renew your membership now for 2013. Membership fee is €50 for EU/€55 for non-EU. A list of current members is available on this site.


The Society's 11th annual conference will be held in Helsinki at the Finnish Literature Society, from 30 October to 1 November. The theme is "Textual Trails: Transmissions of Oral and Written Texts" and the call for papers is available from the conference pages. The deadline for proposals has been extended to 14 May.

The Society’s journal, variants, is looking to appoint a number of new book review editors who can take responsibility for a specific region or language. Book review editors will monitor new publications (monographs, collections of essays, scholarly editions, digital projects) within their area, order review copies, commission reviews and sent copy-edited reviews to the journal editor. This is an ideal opportunity for PhD students or early career researchers. Please contact the editor, Wim Van Mierlo, with an expression of interest.

Submissions are still being accepted for Variants. Particularly participants form the Paris conference are encourage to send in their contribution. Please note that the journal accepts only articles that have been revised for publication. All submissions are subject to peer review.

Please contact the webmaster, if you want us to include your news and announcements here. An events calendar listing forthcoming conferences, colloquia, seminars and call for papers is also available.


The Society organizes an international autumn conference each year hosted by a different European city on a specific topic or theme. The first one of these was a colloquium held in Leicester on November 22-23, 2001, to formally launch the Society. The second colloquium, on the subject of Reading Notes was held in Antwerp in December 6-7, 2002. The third colloquium was held in Copenhagen on November 21-23, 2003.

The first larger conference was held in Alicante, Spain, on the theme 'Editing Texts in Multiple Versions' on 25-27 November 2004, which was followed by 'Histories of Editions' in Amsterdam (16 - 17 December 2005), 'Textual Scholarship and the Material Book' in London (23 - 25 2006), 'Textual Scholarship and the Canon' in Vilnius, Lithuania (22 - 24 November 2007), 'Private: Do (not) enter: Personal Writings and Textual Scholarship' in Lisbon (20 - 22 November 2008), 'Texts beyond Borders: Multilingualism and Textual Scholarship' in Brussels (19 - 21 November 2009), and 'Texts Worth Editing' in Pisa and Florence (25 - 27 November 2010). The 8th international conference was exceptionally held in spring 2012 to coincide with the annual conference of the Arbeitsgemeinschaft fur Germanistische Edition. The subject of this joint conference was 'Inter National and Inter Disciplinary Aspects of Scholarly Editing' and took place in Bern on 15 - 18 February 2012. The 9th annual conference on "Editing Fundamentals: Historical and Literary Paradigms in Source Editing" took place in Amsterdam on 22-24. A Storify archive of all conference Tweets with hashtag #ests2012 is available from the original conference page.

The Society publishes a refereed journal, Variants, with academic articles and book reviews that focus on any aspect of European textual scholarship. The first number was published in 2002 by Brepols. From the second volume onwards, a double issue (2/3) on Reading Notes, the journal was published in association with Rodopi. The most recent volume is Variants 10 (2013), which contains 12 articles on textual scholarship and historical linguistics, digital scholarly editing, classical philology; scholarly editing in Dutch, English, Finnish and Swedish Literature; publishing traditions in Japan, book history, and editing and folklore.

With STS, we maintain a discussion group about textual scholarship. The list is open to anyone (you do not have to be a member of either society to join) and we welcome anyone who is interested in textual criticism, scholarly editing and related topics. Join at Textual Scholarship. You can also find us on Facebook.