choice tags

BAND, Uncategorized, XML

Revisiting Choice Tags in Poetical Sketches

For the past few months I’ve been tackling the 72-object Poetical Sketches, one of only two of Blake’s literary works printed using conventional typesetting (the other is French Revolution). Thanks to the previous work of Ali and Megan Wilson, my job as a “pre-proofer” has become much easier. The pre-proofing process involves checking the spacing and format of each object on various browsers (also known as deuglification); reviewing line notes for errors; verifying the inclusion of the original page numbers on each object (<physnumber>); adding more specific attributes for headers (ex. <texthead type=“title”>); and, of course, adding/modifying choice tags based on our updated tag set.

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Choice Tags and Attributes in “Blake’s Chaucer”

A few months ago, Hardeep wrote a blog post about the importance of the XML element <choice> in our manuscript encoding tag set. The main benefit is for the Blake Archive’s search function to allow users to search for regularized spellings of words that might be abbreviated or non-standardized in Blake’s manuscripts. For example, a user searching for “Tiger” would never be directed to “Tyger” without a choice tag attached to Blake’s non-standard spelling.

Last month, I began the transcription and encoding of a typographic work titled Blake’s Chaucer: The Canterbury Pilgrims. The work is a one-page printed advertisement for a [proposed] Blake engraving of Chaucerian characters, “in a correct and finished Line manner of Engraving, similar to those original Copper Plates of ALBERT DURER, LUCAS, HISBEN, ALDEGRAVE.” Of course, the Blake advertisement here is appealing to the fame of some historically relevant engravers, but the manuscript itself only refers to them in abbreviated/non-standard/anglicized forms.

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The Undergraduate Experience

By Margaret Speer

As one of the two undergraduate assistants to the Blake Archive at the University of Rochester (BAND), my main activities are:

  • Proofreading letters
  • Asking the graduate students to unlock the door of the Blake Archive office for me
  • Retyping words from Blake’s letters in Word to see if they’re misspelled and therefore require a choice tag
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