Transparency is Collaboration

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By Eric Loy

Manuscript of William Blake's Vala, or the Four Zoas

A few of us at the Blake Archive are working on new markup strategies for the infamously difficult Blake manuscript known editorially as Vala, or the Four Zoas. There’s a great (great, great…) deal to be said–and will be said, eventually–about that project specifically, but first a note on some recent collaboration.

Our group was working on some new XML tags for Blake Archive manuscripts to account for FZ‘s multilayered, disparately laid-out composition. Just take a look:

We’re trying to construct a schema that can describe layered revisions in one location without necessarily connecting them to revisions in other areas. Our earliest attempts involve a combination of and definitions that Hardeep drafted. Laura then looked for precedent in the use of zone in recent projects.

Here’s where the collaboration comes in. Laura found some excellent examples of in the Shelley-Godwin Archive‘s markup of the Frankenstein notebooks. We particularly like attributions, as we’re not sure at this point if we want to encode specific coordinates or link areas conceptually (or both). Either way, looking at the S-G examples helped us understand how was being used “in the wild” …read more