I have been working as a project assistant on the William Blake Archive (University of Rochester branch) for a year now. Primarily, I’m a copy editor: I’ve been looking closely at the “top pages” of the archive to make sure they are still up-to-date, convenient to use, and formatted consistently.

When I work on an html page, I compile a set of notes (describing passages that look out of date, inconsistencies in style, etc.), which I then forward to my colleagues at the Rochester division of the archive for input. Then my revised notes go to the archive’s list-serve. After the editors respond with their suggestions, I edit the html files (using Nvu) and publish them—first on our testing site and ultimately on our public site.

I inevitably get caught up in minutiae—the most frustrating (but oddly satisfying) of which are the many double-hyphens that need to be replaced with em-dashes. But more comprehensive questions about content, organization, and usability come up regularly (as in the case of our Plan of the Archive and search pages). Our top pages must change as the archive meets its goals and sets new ones—and as Web technology and the habits of Web users change.

Below is a list of pages that have been revised and of those that are being worked on:

Revisions complete and up on public site:
• Archive at a Glance
• Editorial Principles
• About the Editors
• Contributing Collections
• Standard References and Abbreviations
• Frequently Asked Questions
• Technical Summary
• Articles about the Archive
• The Blake Archive in the Context of CDLA
• Reproductions and Permissions
• User Comments
• Site Information
• Known Hazards and Most Favorable Conditions of the Archive

Research/Revision in progress at Rochester division:
• Plan of the Archive

Notes submitted to list-serve:
• Related Sites
• Search (initial search page)
• Image Search
• Text Search
• Tour of the Archive