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BAND

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All Fun and Games

At the beginning of summer, my mom, who’s a sixth-grade English teacher, asked me to take her classes for a day. Working with young kids is a little out of the ordinary for a grad student, but it seemed like a good way to get my feet wet with teaching composition on the horizon. Plus, getting a glimpse of the potential obstacles, needs, and interests of an eleven-year-old learner was bound to offer me a valuable perspective that I may not otherwise get.

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BAND

Color-to-Character Relationships in America a Prophecy

In a departure from my previous investigation into Blake’s use of color, which focused on brightness and change over time, I have here considered the possible relationships between the mythological characters and the overall palette of a copy. For this project, I’ve focused on copies A, M, and O of America a Prophecy, looking at the depictions of the characters Urizen, Orc, and Albion.

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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, 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

The Artist, the Poet, and the Proofreader

The relationship between vivid, poetic language and visual art has always intrigued me. As an undergrad, I majored in studio art and English, and naturally see the two creative disciplines as more alike than they are different. Coming from this interdisciplinary perspective, I’m fascinated with Blake’s unique body of work but was surprised to find that, until the late 20th century, research on Blake was generally divided between art history and literary studies (“Plan of the Archive”).

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So then what happened?

Seven months ago I wrote a blog titled “Some Promising Forays into Transcribing Blake’s Marginalia.” Much has changed!

After months of grappling with the logistical and philosophical challenges involved in marginalia transcription, we now have what we think will be the actual marginalia tag-set moving forward (though to be sure, there are a few questions we’re saving for Blake Camp). 

As a follow up to the “Promising Forays” I want to provide a brief quasi-narrative description of how we got from point A to point B. 

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BAND, Digital Humanities, Uncategorized

Why we should be talking more: office chat and DH

When I look back over many of the most recent blog posts—Rachel’s about how to use notes with a sense of audience, Oishani’s about Blake’s quirky punctuation, my own about the differences between red wax seals and wafers, and other posts from the past several months—I am not surprised to realize that many of these posts began in the William Blake Archive office as informal conversations about digital editing. I remember Oishani asking my input about how to encode a period under a superscript, and I recall spending the better part of an hour with Laura and Lisa discussing why and how we decide that a letter is sealed by wax or wafer. These conversations are illustrative of one of the greatest benefits of digital humanities projects: the opportunity to collaborate and work with a team of scholars from a variety of backgrounds.

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BAND, Uncategorized

Focusing on Audience: How Notes can Help!

Recently, Oishani posted about the different choices scholars have made in their transcriptions of the “quirky” punctuation in Blake’s receipts. Currently, the protocol has been to attach a note to the specific line of the transcription in which these punctuation discrepancies occur. However, as Oishani points out, though Bentley and Keynes do not treat punctuation systematically, we still have many nearly identical notes about minute differences in punctuation. What is the importance in noting these differences? Should we focus on punctuation in the receipts on a larger scale? Oishani ends her post asking us to consider if it would be more useful to have individual notes on each of the receipts, or to have a set of notes that covers the entire set of receipts and discusses recurring issues like punctuation in detail?

 

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