A Digital Humanities Miscellany

Posted by Jenny Batt on Tuesday, December 07, 2010 with No comments
The DMI team are not the only ones busy making digital indexes at the moment - while we're concentrating on eighteenth century printed verse, Peter Beal, John Lavagnino and Henry Woudhuysen are working on a project to digitize Beal's groundbreaking Index of English Literary Manuscripts 1450-1700. Henry Woudhuysen spoke about the Catalogue of English Literary Manuscripts at the London Seminar in Digital Text and Scholarship last week, and an account of his talk has been posted on the UCL Digital Humanities Blog. The CELM is due to launch in 2011, and, just like the IELM, it looks set to be an important re-mapping of the landscape of early modern writing.

Digital Editions
A couple of exciting eighteenth-century related digital editions have recently gone live. Check out William Godwin's Diary to find out what Godwin was reading, what he was writing, who he was meeting, and what he was eating.

While Godwin's diary contains notes about his reading, you can find out what George Washington was reading at about the same time in the New York Society Library's digitization of its First Charging Ledger. You can also find out who was reading (or at least, borrowing) important anthologies such as Dodsley's A Collection of Poems and Enfield's The Speaker in the New York area in the early 1790s.

Discussing Digital Resources
The Godwin Diary and the Ledger are both open access and freely available. CELM will also be publicly available via the web, as will, when we've finished the data input, the DMI. But some of the most important resources, including Early English Books Online, Eighteenth Century Collections Online, and the Burney Collection Newspapers, require subscriptions to access. There's an interesting discussion of the ethical consequences of this on the Early Modern Online Bibliography blog.

Meanwhile, you can hear some of Michael Suarez's worries about the digitization of books in an illuminating talk on 'The Codex, the Digital Image, and the Problems of Presence', delivered at the Bridwell Library in October, here on the Bridwell Library site.

Digital Resources on TV
Amanda Vickery's currently At Home with the Georgians on BBC2. During the first programme, one of the things that struck me (and apparently not just me) most forcibly was the use of technology. There were, of course, trips to archives to see manuscripts, and grand old houses to see contemporary portraits, but on more than one occasion, rather than showing an actual copy of an eighteenth century book or manuscript, Vickery showed a reproduction of it on her iPad. At least one of the books she showed is available on Google books; it's perhaps a shame that there's no At Home with the Georgians website with links to this, and the other online sources, so viewers can click away while they watch.