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Why the Magnifying Glass is Awesome!

While we were working our way through proofing the new batch of Blake’s letters a few months back, I had a better chance that I had ever had before to learn just how useful the magnifying glass can be.

The testing site is pretty much identical to the public site, so like the public site it has the magnifying glass which made it possible to take a magnified look at objects during proofing. This came in handy when trying to make important calls about questionable letters.

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BAND

Evaluating Color in Heaven and Hell

Majoring in both English Literature and Computational Linguistics and enrolling in Linear Algebra for my personal pleasure, my undergraduate career is best described as idiosyncratic. Creating a project through the Blake Archive presented me with an abundance of options at the intersection of my two major fields but I decided to experiment with a realm I am less than familiar with: color theory.

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BAND

Songs of Instruments and Entrancement: BAND’s Summer Hits

With a hearty batch of letters now up on the site and just a few remaining weeks of summer stretching before us, BAND has eased into a temporary state of repose. Our office is a little quieter, our meetings are a little shorter, and our work schedules— briefly unhindered by semester stressors and publication deadlines— allow for longer gazes outside the office window and, if we’re emboldened by our beloved office neighbor’s closed door, music.

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BAND

How to say that a work lacks binding

At the William Blake Archive, we rely heavily on precedent when making important editorial decisions. In other words, when unsure what to do about a certain metadata field or how to deal with something unusual in the textual transcription for a given work, we check to see what we did in similar situations in previously published works.

For example, when working on Blake’s letters, I needed a review on how to handle the textual transcription for lines with lots of cross-outs and overwrites.

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BAND, Digital Humanities

A Watermark Mystery

Sometimes in archival work, you find yourself on these “side quests,” tracking down a paradoxically indispensable yet trivial bit of information. Such a quest came up after the last round of receipt proofing. A member of the Archive noticed that a handful of the receipts had watermarks with a range of visibility. Receipt number 26 had a particularly faint watermark that evaded straightforward identification. As this information—when present—is typically included in the publications, it was necessary to figure out if this watermark was visible enough to describe.

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BAND, Digital Humanities

Instagram as Archive: Blake and Digital Art Culture

Exciting news: the William Blake Archive now has an Instagram. This additional platform will enable Blake’s materials to reach new audiences through a primarily visual application, bringing decades of digital archival work into the pocket-sized cellular devices of over one billion active monthly users worldwide. Both known for ease of access and for interweaving the visual with the textual, Instagram and the William Blake Archive are a natural fit for one another.

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BAND

The History of Hell

Hell’s Printing Press, the blog of The Blake Archive and Blake Quarterly, is more than a decade old at this point, so it isn’t surprising that the hyperlinks found in the oldest entries don’t always work. To make the blog as user-friendly as possible I decided that it would make for a worthwhile winter break project to go through the old entries and fix or update as many broken links as can feasibly be fixed or updated.

Like any good editor, I’ve been conscientious about what kind of changes I’ve made and followed a strict policy of “when in doubt, don’t touch it!” Out of respect for authorial integrity, I don’t want any posts to link to anything categorically different from what the original authors intended to link to, even if it might seem to me to fulfill a similar purpose.

To put it another way, I don’t want to do anything that might make it look like someone from the future came in and meddled with the old posts. However, I do feel strongly that if you’re reading an old post which contains links to sites and pages that are still extant, you ought to be able to link to the extant versions of those sites and pages even if the url has changed at some point in the last decade.

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BAND

Blake’s Afterlife: Florine Stettheimer’s Visual Poetics

New York saloniste Florine Stettheimer (1871-1944) was born nearly fifty years after William Blake’s death. Yet this wealthy American woman produced a body of artworks that bear remarkable resemblances to Blake’s illustrations. The two share many qualities: both were equal parts poet and visual artist, both produced works with highly idiosyncratic pictorial styles, and both had reputations as unconventional individuals. Continue reading