Managing Marginalia: Two Ways

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By Laura Whitebell

William Blake marginalia

We are experiencing Real Winter Weather for the first time this season, so it seems apt that BAND are about to re-visit a project that kept us occupied last time the snow fell and the mercury plummeted: Blake’s marginalia.

As Lisa discussed last winter, one of the projects that we have yet to tackle fully is the annotations that Blake made in books from his own collection, a unique and challenging combination of a manuscript and a typographical work. This week, we’ll be holding the first meeting of Team Marginalia, a similar kind of working group as Team Color Code, who will be focusing on the specific problems that this kind of work poses.

Of course, neither paper nor digital editions of various people’s marginalia are anything new, and exploring the sheer variety of different ways that this kind of object can be re-presented for a new reader is one of the early goals of Team Marginalia. I want to share two projects now, one that comes under the broad heading of “scholarly,” and another that is more of a Valentine to the book as object.

Melville’s Marginalia makes the argument that a deeper understanding of the author’s reading …read more