Work that happens in a linear fashion is, generally, very boring. Our work on Blake’s typographical piece Poetical Sketches has certainly avoided that problem. The original transcription of Poetical Sketches was begun by Ali McGhee at UNC Chapel Hill as the very first typographical project taken on by the Blake Archive. At that point there was no guiding template on how to treat typographical works while encoding. There are some similarities to the illuminated books, such as catchwords and titles at the top of pages. There are also similarities to the manuscripts such as insertions and handshifts. Fortunately, these similarities allowed us to cobble together a collection of necessary tags and attribution for most typographical works.
Ali’s original work was a strong starting point, however, Poetical Sketches fell to the wayside which is eerily similar to Blake’s own neglect of this short-run printed work. The Descriptive Catalogue became the hot-shot typographical piece shortly after Ali finished her first draft of Poetical Sketches. Work on the Catalogue was based off of the work done for Sketches, but some changes were made, such as using the physnumber tag.
Now that the Descriptive Catalogue has been through the paces, we can go back to Poetical Sketches and align its encoding to match our newly born standard for typographical pieces. Not only is this revisit going to be easier given the amount of work done by Ali early on, but it will simply be more fun the second time through!