The end of END

The end of END

Summer update by Early Novels Database Fellow Katy Frank ’17 It’s fitting that on the second-to-last day of work, we got a tour of the newly remodeled section of UPenn’s rare book space. The routine of my job involved cataloguing rare books in the mornings, and either working on projects or learning from guest lectures or correcting plain text versions of old books in the afternoons, and getting a tour was a special treat. I loved looking at the various collections – a collection of everything Gulliver’s Travels related, for example, as well as a fantastic comic collection – that added color to the burgundy, dark green, and navy blue nineteenth-century bindings (even if the books inside the bindings were from earlier centuries) that surrounded us. Our tour guide pointed at one of these latter books and said to us, “Now this binding screams robber baron trying to build his book collection,” and as we all nodded in assent, I thought happily about how much I have learned this summer in order to be able to agree with him so emphatically. I’ve learned how to recognize and roughly chronologically and geographically place bindings, marginalia, fonts, and other various physical aspects of a book; I’ve learned the HTML-esque library cataloguing computer language MarcXML; I’ve learned the particular method of cataloguing for the Early Novels Database; I’ve learned about contemporary debates and hot topics within the field of Digital Humanities; and I’ve learned a great deal about the history of the novel in the West, conventions of the eighteenth century epistolary novel, and random bits of the history of reading in...
My summer at END

My summer at END

Katy Frank, 6/29/2016 My summer at END, pt. I Digital humanities: Not just using digital means to represent the humanities – e.g. a PDF of your thesis – but also using the digital to explore the humanities – using digital tools to look at trends in prefaces across vast quantities of non-canonical books, for example. The digital humanities is a nascent and highly contested field, and I am extremely happy that I’ve gotten to learn more about what it is, exactly, at my summer job, thanks to the Hurford Center. This summer, I’m working at END, the Early Novels Database, in UPenn’s Van Pelt Library. In the mornings, we catalogue old books using a library computer language called Marc XML, which resembles HTML. We record extremely detailed metadata about the books paratexts, authorship, publication, and more. This summer we’ve mostly been cataloguing books from the 1780s, though we’ve seen books from throughout the 18th century. We mostly look at books from England, though there are a few from Ireland and the colonial U.S.A. We’ve seen some great titles, including: Love and Madness: a Story Too True, In a Series of Letters, Between Parties Whose Names Would Perhaps be Mentioned Were They Less Known or Less Lamented Discipline: a Novel. By the Author of Self-Control. The History of Jemmy and Jenny Jessamy Memoirs and Adventures of a Flea The School For Husbands A typical day at work looks like:     In the afternoons, we have a more varied schedule. We have Theory Thursdays, where we – you guessed it! – discuss theory re: both early novels and digital humanities. There...
WHAT IS Re:Humanities?

WHAT IS Re:Humanities?

If you have ever had a single question about Re:Humanities, from the most basic logistics to the most esoteric academic references, this is the blog post you’ve been waiting for. Katrina Obieta (BMC ’15), part of the Re:Hum working group, answers all. 1. What is Re:Humanities, logistically speaking? What/Who/Where/When? Re:Humanities ’15: Save, Share, Self-Destruct. will be held at Swarthmore College on April 9-10, 2015. 2. And: why? The symposium is a two-day conferences that showcases undergraduate research on digital humanities. Our goal in this symposium is to empower undergraduates with the unique opportunity to playfully engage in scholarly research, challenging them to produce and collaborate in a sphere traditionally reserved for graduates and professionals. The theme this year lies at the intersection of digital scholarship and the public realm. The tools of new media allow for innovative academic research and streamlined social contact, yet present significant trade-offs. Privacy breaches, personal digital trails, and the effects of technology in daily life remain prominent issues in public and academic circles. These concerns raise fundamental questions for both scholars and the community: What do we save? Why do we save it? What do we trade for access? How much data is too much? 3. How can students access and learn about the digital humanities in the Tri-Co beyond this conference? Re:Humanities is supported by both the Tri-Co Digital Humanities and Haverford College’s Hurford Center for the Arts and Humanities. They have many different programs and opportunities for students to learn more about digital scholarship. Learn more here: tdh.brynmawr.edu www.haverford.edu/HCAH/ 4) Feminist scholar Donna Haraway writes, “I seek my siblings in the nonarboreal, laterally communicating,...