Following the award of a second Leverhulme Research Project Grant, we are undertaking a new phase of miscellanies research. The current project, A New History of Reading and Authorship in the Eighteenth Century, will develop the Digital Miscellanies Index in partnership with Verse Miscellanies Online and other digital resources; it will also harness the data that these resources are generating to inform new research into how poetry was read and circulated in the eighteenth century. The project is led by Professor Abigail Williams (St Peter's College, Oxford), and the Postdoctoral Research Assistant is Dr Carly Watson (Faculty of English, Oxford).
In the later stages of the project, which runs until August 2017, the DMI will be relaunched as a fully searchable, interlinked database with records spanning the period 1557 to 1780. We're working on three key developments:
1) In collaboration with Professor Michelle O'Callaghan (Reading), we're transforming the Digital Miscellanies Index into a cross-period resource for researchers interested in the transmission of poetry in print from the sixteenth to the eighteenth centuries. Michelle has developed Verse Miscellanies Online, a searchable critical edition of seven early printed verse miscellanies, from Tottel's Songes and Sonettes (1557) to A Poetical Rapsodie (1611). We're importing data from VMO about the contents of these miscellanies, and we'll link their records in the DMI to the full, edited texts in VMO.
We're also importing data from the online Index of Poetry in Printed Miscellanies, 1640-1682 compiled by Dr Adam Smyth (Balliol College, Oxford). This dataset covers the resurgence of printed miscellanies in England during the Interregnum and the Restoration era.
2) To bridge the gap between the Index's imported records (to 1682) and its existing ones (from 1700), Carly is creating new records for miscellanies published between 1680 and 1700.
3) Once all the new data has been added to the Index, we'll redevelop the beta site. We have plans to build a new, flexible search interface, and to provide tools which enable users to analyse and visualise their results.
Follow this blog for updates on our progress!