For my dissertation, when creating an edition of Uncle Tom’s Cabin that was based on the National Era newspaper appearance, I organized it by installments. Now I am creating a scholarly edition, which will report all substantive variants. I had long thought I would organize it by chapter so as not to distress scholars who are familiar with the chapter-based organization, though I would sometimes make jokes about re-organizing entire edition by installments.
But now I have decided to go with my gut and organize entire edition by installments, the key upon which I will base chapter and line numbering for collation. That is, the infrastructure of edition will reflect the importance of Era text. The Era version will be the reading text, and so the entire edition will be organized by installments, chapter complications be damned (and in fact, there are serious complications). It’s the right way to do it, I have to do the work, and I am the editor; therefore, I get to decide. Someone shall write an angry review which complains that I messed with his or her world by this perverse decision, at least I hope so. I’m going to release the source files publicly, so anyone else who wants to build another edition according to another organizational scheme is welcome to have at it.
The revised title will be the following: Uncle Tom’s Cabin: A Scholarly Edition of the National Era Text. I’ve gone too far in this direction now, and I’m not turning back.