Toe the Line: Defining (Part 1)

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By Laura Whitebell

Screen shot 2014-09-10 at 4.28.20 PM

One of the main ways that we organize Blake Archive works while encoding is through “line groups”, an element represented by in our BADs (Blake Archive Description). Here’s the formal definition from our documentation:

. This element identifies line groups–i.e., blocks of text on the object, such as stanzas or paragraphs. For verse, simply use , but for prose text (i.e., not poetry), use the type with value “prose”: e.g., .

As BAND has been preparing typographic works for publication, we have encountered a number of new transcription, display and encoding problems related to “secondary text” (discussed most recently by Eric here and Megan here) including one that questions the status of our beloved . So, riddle me this Ye Transcription Gods, if poetry is and prose is , then what is text that is neither poetry nor prose? For example, most of our typographic works include a running header across the top of the page, how should we categorize that?

This is object 2 of a letter that Blake wrote to Hayley on 18 December 1804. The original is no longer in existence, so we have used photography from Alexander Gilchrist’s Life of William …read more