By Megan Wilson
Like Margaret, I am an undergraduate at the William Blake Archive with the University of Rochester (BAND). I must commend Margaret on her spot on description of what it is like to work at the Blake Archive.
I have been working with BAND for almost a full year now, so there must be something I like about it. As a creative writing major who focuses on contemporary poetry, Blake’s engravings and illuminated books have never really inspired me, and I think his poetry is alright. Nonetheless, I love the work I do at the Blake Archive. It is an amazing digital humanities project that makes Blake available to scholars in a really significant way.
Currently I am working on the digitization of Blake’s typographical Descriptive Catalogue. This work requires adapting the text into an XML format which users can search and navigate with ease. What most interests me about this work is that Blake discusses his own theory of art and criticizes other artists. Although this is important as a catalogue that describes the works Blake had to offer, it is a much more critical piece of writing.
In addition to the Blake Archive, I also work at the Rare Books and Specials Collections library at the University of Rochester. Seeing the mass amount of materials that have yet to be digitized has really shown me how much projects like the Archive are needed. The access and the scholarship is of utmost importance.
So, though I may need to wait half an hour for someone to open the office or I need to rush to make the BAND meeting, I will continue to do so. This is an amazing project and an amazing group of people to work with.