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BAND

BAND

Teaching with the Archive

One of the more significant items on my busy schedule this semester is teaching Introduction to Digital Media Studies here at UR. It’s a class I very much enjoy teaching, and one for which I also very much enjoyed designing the syllabus.

Intended as a survey of all things DMS, the class cruises through a wide variety of ideas, tech, people, and histories. Given my close association with the Blake Archive for the last 4.5 years (really?!), I couldn’t help but sneak some BA in there. 

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BAND, XML

A New Guide to Choice Tags

Last time I blogged about the <choice> Tag Project, I established a semi-comprehensive list of situations that required <choice> tags, and ended with a series of unsettled questions. Since then I have investigated the issue more thoroughly and now, having answered those questions, I can put together a more definitive guide. 

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BAND

Reconciling the Four Zoas and Marginalia Encoding Schemas

A while back (actually it’s been more than a year) I wrote about our efforts to develop a set of shared terms to be used across the Four Zoas and Marginalia projects. We’ve been struggling with this since, with the use of <layer> in the marginalia encoding as an interim solution. Since the Four Zoas project has unusual (ahem) layout and intensive revisions, we introduced <zone> to represent the spatial structure of the text and <stage> as a child element of line in an attempt to represent every act of editing in detail. For the marginalia however, we needed a tag to distinguish between Blake’s writing and the typographic text more than anything to denote layers of revision and editing within the line. In order to avoid confusion, we decided to use <layer> for our schema. The results looked like this:

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BAND, Blake Quarterly

Serendipity and difficulty

Behind the scenes the indefatigable members of the Blake Archive are preparing a batch of separate plates for future publication. In general, I would define separate plates as plates not published as illustrations in books, such as “Chaucers Canterbury Pilgrims” and “Albion Rose.” Each plate may have several states, or stages of execution—”Albion Rose” has two, so we’ll publish an impression of each. Each state may exist in several impressions (prints made from that state).

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BAND, XML

The Much-Anticipated Receipts Update

The previous occasion upon which we brought to your attention the documentation of Blake’s inimitable and exciting fiscal accounts was in mid-2016, so it’s about time we revisited the manifold problems plaguing the receipts project. The project has been gathering (only a little) dust while we paid attention to more pressing questions raised by the redesign, the Four Zoas display, the marginalia schema, not to mention the terrifying experience of recording tutorial videos! But, finally, the (all new) Receipts Team – comprising the brand new BAND member Emily Tronson, the not-so-new Alex Zawacki and myself – has reconvened and we’ve been trying to compile a list of objectives to guide our attempts to prepare a single, complete BAD with all the receipts in our possession. Here are some (hopefully) interesting thoughts and considerations we’ve come up with:

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BAND

Blake’s Divisive “Lord’s Prayer” Marginalia

Over the last few weeks, I’ve been working piecemeal on encoding Blake’s marginalia for Robert Thornton’s The Lord’s Prayer, Newly Translated (1827), a 10-page pamphlet which gives a new translation of the Lord’s Prayer from the original version in Matthew 6:9-13 and accompanying critical and explanatory notes. Unlike with most of the Blake marginalia pages, which have relatively legible writing —

— deciphering this one was a challenge, and not quite achieved (though I’m hardly alone in failing to do this). The difficulty was largely owing to two features which are not typical of the Blake marginalia in other pages of the Thornton, or in the Watson and Lavater books we’re also working on: it seems to be written in something like smudgy grey pencil, and, at first sight, it seems to consist of one large nebulous mass extending up the right side from the bottom margin. Blake did certainly write his marginal notes all over the margins of his books and sometimes at odd angles to the text on the page:

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