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Digitizing the records of the Hogarth Press, 1917-1922

This project will build on the success of last year’s UROP on the Hogarth Press Order Books by selecting and transcribing materials from the Hogarth Press archive from 1917 to 1922 for digitization as part of a larger international collaborative project, ‘The Modernist Archives Publishing Project: The Hogarth Press Archive Online.’

Department: English Literature

Supervised by: Dr Nicola Wilson

The Placement Project

The Modernist Archives Publishing Project (MAPP), the international collaborative project to which the student will contribute, was in its beginning stages last year when a UROP student contributed to the early-stage collection of quantitative data. It has since received funding from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (2013-15). The first case study, the Hogarth Press, is one of the major publishers of modernist and mid-twentieth century authors and poets, and its business archives are housed in UoR Special Collections. MAPP combines two major new approaches to literary scholarship: digital humanities and publishing history. This student placement will work at the intersection of these fields in order to investigate principles of selection in the creation of digital archives. The student will examine the Hogarth Press files (including financial records, correspondence, press clippings, printing documents and samples) to suggest materials for digitization from the 1922 materials, and transcribe the financial records covering the early years of the press from 1917 to 1922. What makes archival materials meaningful for literary study? What kind of documents seem most suitable for digitization and why? These questions are a particularly important step in ensuring that the interpretive aspect of digitization is acknowledged and understood by researchers, and the student will work with the PI and co-supervisors to investigate the interpretive frameworks employed in the selection of materials. The student’s findings will be used and credited on the MAPP site and be included in peer-reviewed publications resulting from the creation of the digital resource.

Tasks

Literature review, IT training, and Archival training (15%) Transcription of the Press’s financial records (from the Monthly Sales Records and the Order Books) 1917-1922 (40%) Poster: Selection of five items of interest from the 1922 files and analysis of their importance as archival documents, thereby recommending their inclusion in MAPP. Creation of a poster to present these items, which will also be prioritized for digitization and included on the MAPP site. The student will participate in an international video conference session at the conclusion of his or her placement to present the work to the project team and the poster will be submitted for presentation at the 2014 Modernist Studies Association Conference (35%) Time and project management effectiveness: the student will be required to meet weekly targets for the delivery of the material (10%).

Skills, knowledge and experience required

Essential: ability to work in a precise and systematic manner and maintain accuracy in transcription; knowledge of and interest in English Literature and the world of publishing; experience in using library catalogues and online databases to find and access scholarly books and articles; excellent time management skills; teamwork; skill in writing and oral presentations Desirable: knowledge of and interest in digital developments in arts and culture; interest in the novels of Virginia Woolf and/or literary modernism; interest or experience in record-keeping and the work of archivists and archives; digital experience (in programming, MS Excel, database architecture, or XML encoding)

Skills which will be developed during the placement

You will gain hands-on experience of archival research, working with archivists and using materials in special collections. These are key transferable skills which could be used in a research environment or a museums and libraries context. You will develop quantitative and qualitative research skills in the collation, selection, and analysis of empirical data, and interdisciplinary research skills from using ‘business’ archival materials for literary research. You will also learn about and experience how the process of research works in a collaborative and interdisciplinary context. In subject specific terms, you will gain insight into how recent developments in book history and the digital humanities as research disciplines are transforming the nature of literary studies. Digital humanities is a key growth area that many humanities jobs are now looking for, and your experience in having worked collaboratively on a database will be invaluable for any future research career. You will develop communication, IT, collaboration and presentation skills through working closely with the PI and the two co-supervisors, and through sharing your results with the international project partners. The project offers the successful candidate a rare opportunity to work in the archives and contribute to an international Digital Humanities project.

Place of Work

UoR Special Collections, Museum of English Rural Life, London Road campus

Hours of Work

9-5

Approximate Start and End Dates (not fixed)

Monday 23 June 2014 - Friday 01 August 2014

How to Apply

Please apply via CV and covering letter, making clear in your application how you meet each of the 'essential' and 'desirable' criteria. Please send this to Dr Nicola Wilson in the Department of English Literature (mail trays 1st floor of the English Dept) or by email, n.l.wilson@reading.ac.ukInterviews will be held at Special Collections, MERL, with the PI and two co-supervisors.


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