British Women Romantic Poets, 1789-1832: Project Description

Goals

The British Women Romantic Poet's Project is producing an online scholarly archive consisting of E-text editions of poetry by British and Irish women written (not necessarily published) between 1789 (the onset of the French Revolution) and 1832 (the passage of the Reform Act), a period traditionally known in English literary history as the Romantic period.

Selection Criteria

Texts are being selected in consultation with our Editorial Advisory Board, consisting of scholars in the United States and Canada. Our aim is to make complete texts available that are not readily accessible from other sources, many of which are not well known, or who are only beginning to be of interest to the scholarly community. Texts are drawn from the UC, Davis Library's Kohler Collection of British Poetry, housed in the Department of Special Collections.

Procedures

Texts are scanned and converted to ASCII format using Expervision's Typereader OCR Software, which we have found to be accurate in its recognition of archaic and small typefaces. Texts are proofed initially with the OCR proofing utility, then saved as text files. Finally, they are imported into Author/Editor, which we chose over other SGML editors because of its ease of use by student taggers(compared, for example, to line editors such as psgml) and because of the educational pricing and support offered by Softquad.

As of January, 2000 we have tagged fifty texts, using Standard Generalized Markup Language (SGML) according to Text Encoding Initiative (TEI) Guidelines. In the summer of 1997, we established styles, standard conventions, and procedures. Two LAUC-D Research grants have allowed us to purchase copies of Author/Editor sofware and to hire several student taggers. Other staffing is provided by volunteer interns. In the early stages of the project, some programming support was provided by the University Library Systems Department. Since 1999, all technical work has been provided by volunteers and project editors.

In the spring of 1998, we began work with the library cataloging department to standardize our header data so it conforms to MARC guidelines, and developed a routine that converts our TEI headers to MARC records. The library is continuing to work on automating the process for cataloging project texts.

In 1998 as well began scanning and mounting illustrations and title pages, currently available from html versions at a choice of three different resolutions. In 1999 we mounted these images in our SGML texts.

Encoding Guidelines

In the interest of "interoperability," BWRP has largely used the TEI Lite dtd unmodified. We have based our encoding practices on those of the Victorian Women Writers' Project at Indiana. Variations in our practices have been underlined in our Encoding Guidelines Manual.

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