Looking like a book

Last month I wrote about a book—nay, a leaf of a book—and the secret histories it reveals about how it was made, from the growth of the tree that became the woodblock to the valleys and hills that formed during the making and printing of the paper. I promised then that I’d write another post that took us into the afterlife of that book, the ways in which the future imprinted itself on it.

cfp: SHARP @ RSA 2014

In an exciting turn of events, Adam Hooks and I are organizing the slate of SHARP panels at RSA for the 2014 meeting in New York. If you’ve been following Adam’s “breaking things apart” series on his blog and if you’ve seen my twitter musings recently, you won’t be surprised to learn that the theme we’re working with is fragmentation and gathering. Read our call for papers below, share it with anyone you think might be interested, and consider sending us your submissions! Call for Papers: SHARP @ RSA 2014 The Society for the History of Authorship, Reading & Publishing (SHARP) will sponsor a series of panels at the Renaissance Society of America’s annual meeting in New York City, 27-29 March 2014. SHARP @ RSA brings together scholars working on any aspect of the creation, dissemination, and reception of manuscript and print and their digital mediation. For the 2014 conference,…

Pen facsimiles of early print

As the commenters on last week’s crocodile guessed, the mystery image showed writing masquerading as print or, to use the more formal term, a pen facsimile (click on any of the images in the post to enlarge them): It’s telling that two of the three guesses focused not on the blackletter but on the roman font and the decorated initial. Both of those aspects, I think, are easier to spot as being somehow “off” in comparison to what we expect from print. But we’re not so used to looking at blackletter, and so a manuscript facsimile of that type isn’t quite as tell-tale. This is particularly true when the facsimile doesn’t have the print nearby as a point of comparison, but the difference isn’t necessarily glaring even looking across the gutter to the early printed page: 

What do we want from online facsimiles of Shakespeare?

Over at The Collation last week, I wrote a blog post providing a quick explanation for what might be gained from looking at multiple copies of digital facsimiles of the First Folio and linking to the eight copies I’ve found. Mostly what I was interested in there was the availability of such things and a taste of the joys of copy-specific reading. Here I want to look at what actually matters to me a bit more: the usability of such resources. It should be perfectly clear, but I’m going to say it anyway, just to be safe. This is my personal site and I am not representing the Folger’s point of view here, only my own as a user of such resources. Before I look at specific examples, here’s what I want as a scholar: high-resolution cover-to-cover images, zoomable to, say, larger-than-life size with full clarity so that I can…