Contemporary techniques allow us to handle some 100.000 pages of digitized manuscripts. If it is possible to bring collections of this size at low costs to the desktop of the researcher, the environment of historical research will change fundamentally. To explore these possibilities the Duderstadt Municipal Archive (Stadtarchiv Duderstadt, Germany) and the Max-Planck-Institut für Geschichte in Göttingen started a project in 1996. This project aims at developing a computerised version of the files of an entire archive. The older records of the archive are completely digitized and then put at the user's disposal together with registers. The aim is to create a research System which offers not only access to the sources in a way which preserves the originals, but also many facilities for the researcher that go beyond the ordinary work with originals. The second part of this paper goes to the opposite extreme. The possibility of integrating information into a database system opens completely new approaches to the source that can go far beyond a single text. Apart from visualizing information that Gould never he represented in a printed edition, the dynamic digital edition gives access to the various readings of a manuscript and thus deals with the aspects of the source's tradition. A software tool has been developed which supports the creation of digital editions to be build upon digitized collections, such as the one we present here. This project would not exist without the generous sponsoring of the Volkswagen-Stiftung.