17 Nov 2023 17:00-19:00 Chadwick, Selwyn College, Grange Road, Cambridge CB3 9DQ


Editing Anti-Slavery Archives and Modelling Sustainable Publications: The Case of Mary Anne Rawson’s The Bow in the Cloud (1834)

Speaker: Dr Christopher Ohge

How can digital scholarly editing recover under-examined anti-slavery literary archives and introduce new paths for critical interpretation and historical scholarship? And how can such a project ensure sustainable publications? A digital scholarly edition of The Bow in the Cloud, an 1834 anti-slavery anthology edited by Mary Anne Rawson, an activist from Sheffield, uses editorial and text analysis tools to make accessible distributed data on the genesis and historical significance of this anthology and its neglected manuscript archive. Using the semantic web authoring tool Scalar, the project combines Transkribus, TEI-XML, network analysis tools, linked open data standards, and a graph database to model relationships between archival documents as well as creative-critical practices. It also uses a principle of distributed data to make various representations of the project’s dataset useful for various purposes. This kind of digital publication strategy employs an integrative and interdependent approach by featuring new modes of presentation, enriching library catalogs and digital image collections with IIIF (https://iiif.io/) technology, and building an edition with analysis tools. The edition lays the groundwork for a detailed, dynamic, and flexible engagement with the making of a significant anti-slavery publishing event.

About Dr Christopher Ohge

Christopher Ohge is Senior Lecturer in Digital Approaches to Literature at the University of London’s School of Advanced Study. He also serves as the Associate Director of the Herman Melville Electronic Library. The author of the book Publishing Scholarly Editions: Archives, Computing, and Experience (2021), he has also published widely on nineteenth-century literature, textual scholarship, and digital humanities. In 2023 he received an NEH-Mellon Fellowship for Digital Publication to complete a digital edition of Mary Anne Rawson’s anti-slavery anthology The Bow in the Cloud (1834).

Further Information

This seminar will be held in person and followed by a drinks reception. All tickets are free.

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Cambridge Digital Humanities

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