The Cynic Sang: The (Un)Official Blog of the William Blake Archive and the Blake Quarterly

April 22, 2015

“dance & sport in summer”: overhauling the transcription guidelines

Filed under: BAND, digital humanities — Tags: , , — Laura Whitebell @ 1:25 pm

We’re approaching the end of semester here, and, as you all know, “summer vacation” in the wonderful world of academia doesn’t mean time off but time to actually try and get work done. Accordingly, over the last few weeks, I’ve been putting my ducks in a row and trying to organize my projects for the summer. The task at the top of my list is to update our transcription guidelines and tag set, and (hopefully) to put them into some sort of format that we can eventually make public for users of the Blake Archive. This project isn’t as snoozeworthy as it sounds: I’m actually looking forward to incorporating the transcription decisions that we’ve made over the last few years and seeing what kind of editorial rationale emerges (assuming, of course, that there has been some method to our madness).

Our current set of guidelines is based upon those created by Rachel and Ali when they worked on the edition of An Island in the Moon (the first manuscript to be published in the Archive) that lives in two separate documents. One is a sort of step-by-step guide to completing a transcription, and the other is a reference guide to all the different tags that we use. I like the way that these two aspects of the work are separated: sometimes you have a process question, while at other times, you just need to know something more straightforward, like what kind of child elements does a particular tag have.

As for the new stuff, we’ve blogged about lots of the transcription problems that have arisen. The typographical works are obviously a big reason to overhaul our guidelines, but the new choice tags and the (re)discovery of tags like <textfoot> also need to be included. The question is, do we need to divide our documentation into manuscript and typographical works? We’ve seen how different they are and so perhaps it would make sense to provide work-specific directions for transcribers. Or would this unnecessarily replicate a lot of information? And how much of this should we be publishing in the Archive itself?

I’ve been looking at how some other projects handle their documentation. The TEI guidelines are obviously a major resource for many Digital Humanities projects, however since we are not totally TEI compliant, we can’t just link to them and will need to provide some kind of glossary of tags and accompanying explanation. But while editorial transparency is a priority, I can’t imagine that many users will want to scroll through pages upon pages of detailed transcription guidelines. Should we try and create guidelines that cater to both our internal and external audiences?

So that’s my summer sorted! How about you? Going anywhere nice?

Milton a poem

April 2, 2015

Where will we next see Blake? Fakes, forgeries and last night’s TV

Filed under: BAND — Tags: , , — meghanholly @ 10:17 am

Currently a Film and Media Preservation Student, masquerading under the heading of English, I am by no means a Blake Scholar. So after I started working for the archive last fall I was always pleasantly surprised when I encountered a reference to Blake in my everyday life. It was like running into a new acquaintance when and where you least expect to. First I saw him referenced in a painting of book spines at MoMA. Then some friends I visited had a beautiful reproduction of one of his illuminated works hanging in their bedroom. Most recently I spotted Blake while watching an episode of USA’s White Collar. The show, which features reformed art thief and talented forger Neal Caffrey, also featured a fake Blake! The specific episode from season five entitled “Live Feed” featured a forged copy of William Blake’s “Last Judgement.” Intrigued by the idea of someone creating a forgery based on the work of William Blake I took to the internet to see what I could find on the subject. (more…)

March 25, 2015

Stopping to smell the roses: more thoughts on DH and collaboration

Filed under: BAND, digital humanities — Tags: , , , , , , — Laura Whitebell @ 2:59 pm

We have been fortunate to have a series of visiting Digital Humanities scholars at the University of Rochester over the last few months, and while all of their projects and approaches have been very different, most have still emphasized the importance of collaboration in their work. We’ve written a post about the topic before, but this time I want to focus more generally on the different kinds of group work we engage in at BAND. (more…)

March 11, 2015

Musings on Marginalia

Filed under: BAND — Tags: , , — lvandenb @ 12:00 pm

Here at the Blake Archive Northern Division we have found ourselves thinking a lot about marginalia. There really hasn’t been much else to do this winter with the constant snow, so in fact we have found ourselves thinking and talking, and then thinking and talking some more about marginalia over the past few months. (more…)

March 6, 2015

Blake Quarterly back issues in the Blake Archive

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , — Sarah Jones @ 2:25 pm

In December the Blake Archive opened a new “wing” <> dedicated to back issues of the Blake Quarterly journal (the archive and quarterly have an editor in common, Morris Eaves, so it’s a natural marriage). The first installment covers issues from 2000-09, presented in both HTML and PDF versions.


March 4, 2015

Phase Four Image Acquisitions

Filed under: Publications — Tags: , , , — Eric Loy @ 2:13 pm

By Joseph Fletcher, Project Manager

As part of the fourth phase of the William Blake Archive’s development, sponsored by the NEH, we have acquired a multitude of high-resolution digital images of works from 29 institutions. Some of these works are already published in the Archive, and the rest are at various stages in our publication workflow. They are listed below beneath their holding institutions. (more…)

February 27, 2015

Publication Announcement – The Song of Los copy F

Filed under: Publications — Tags: , — Andrea H. Everett @ 11:43 am

The William Blake Archive is pleased to announce the publication of an electronic edition of The Song of Los copy F, from the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek, Munich, Germany. It joins copies A and D from the British Museum, copy B from the Library of Congress, copy C from the Morgan Library and Museum, and copy E from the Huntington Library. The Archive now has all six extant copies of this illuminated book, making The Song of Los the fifth illuminated book whose entire publishing history is reproduced in the Archive, joining Milton a Poem, All Religions are One, The Book of Ahania, and The Book of Los. The Archive will add The Marriage of Heaven and Hell and all complete copies of There is No Natural Religion to the list later this year. (more…)

February 25, 2015

Cleaning Up an Index

Filed under: BAND, digital humanities, XML — mwils31 @ 10:44 am

I have recently undertaken the arduous task of formatting the index to Blake’s typographical work, A Descriptive Catalogue. I say it was “arduous”, but I think I have only made it so. (more…)

February 19, 2015

“One Republic of Learning”: A Response

Filed under: digital humanities — Tags: — mspeer2014 @ 4:41 pm

An article entitled “One Republic of Learning” by Armand Marie Leroi appeared on the 13th of this month in the Opinion Pages of The New York Times. I’ve reproduced what I think is most significant below: (more…)

January 28, 2015

Four Zoas: Whiteboard Edition

Filed under: BAND — Tags: , , — Eric Loy @ 3:07 pm

Behold, a masterpiece of the dry erase medium:

Whiteboard with experimental Four Zoas transcription. (more…)

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