Archivists or… Aliens?

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By annaralden

In the midst of creating new schemas for both our marginalia and Four Zoas projects, our project teams have recently been coming face to face with one of the (if not THE) most fundamental aspects of the Blake archive: when organizing a manuscript for a digital platform, we focus on creating something that is, above all else, visually authentic. Of course, this can be particularly challenging to those who have devoted their lives to reading, aka every person who currently works on the archive. When creating new schemas and reworking what we already have, our innate need to read and understand everything happening in a manuscript makes keeping things visually-authentic a very backwards-feeling job.

This never-ending struggle between the archivists in us and the readers in us reared its ugly head last week when we had one mega-meeting between the TCC (Team Color Code/ Four Zoax) and Team Marginalia to discuss how Blake’s marginal comments will be encoded. Fortunate as I was, I was about 20 minutes late to the meeting, and happened upon our very crowded, and now loud, office just moments before the major outcry. As I slowly got myself up to speed, asking remotely relevant questions while the …read more