At the Blake Archive, graduate students–and now, undergrads, too–participate deeply in the day-to-day happenings of transcription, encoding, and editing that are typical of digital projects. This fall, the Blake Archive North Division (BAND) welcomed a rather large influx of interested students to the University of Rochester. It presented positive problem for the [distinguished, good looking, still very young, etc.] senior members of the team: what do we do with these newbies?
I was one of the greenhorns in question. Coming from Creighton University and an assistantship with The Complete Letters of Henry James project, I had some foundational experience in editing, but I was still new to the pragmatics of the digital scene. With a general strategy towards quickly training new researchers like myself, recently acquired Blake letters were distributed among the new team members. The idea was that a letter–as a short, self-contained, historical object–could provide a microcosm to the editorial process, both specific to the Blake Archive and in general to digital editing.
In many respects, the strategy has been a success. After a few months, each new member is now nearing completion of their own letter. And because of the …read more