Watkins in England

06 Oct 2013
Posted by naomi

Harry's diary abruptly ends mid-sentence in 1860 while he is in England. As frustrating as this is, it presents an exciting challenge -- where did he go? What did he perform there? And how was he received? This summer (thanks to an award from the Society for Theatre Research), I visited several collections in England to try to find out answers to these questions.

Posted by amy

After a very productive summer (among other things, Naomi visited archives in the UK, and Shane and I proofread scores of transcriptions), we received the exciting news that CUNY has awarded us a Collaborative Incentive Research Grant (CIRG) totaling nearly $30,000. This support will enable us to make substantial progress on the project over the next year.

Posted by scott

Proofreading is a big concern over here at the Harry Watkins Diary shop. I believe both Naomi and I have already written a bit about it on these pages. Because we're using XML markup (in accordance with the TEI Guidelines, we hope), the text that we are faced with proofreading may suffer from an especially wide variety of faults.

Posted by danielle

When coming into the Harry Watkins project I wasn’t sure what to expect nor what I was going to take from it. I was learning about history and theatre through Watkins and thought he was comical as well as knowledgable. I only expected Watkins to talk about theatre in his journal entries but he also talked about historical events such as slavery and the unfair treatment. Watkins gave me a deeper insight on his current events that are now our history which helped me in a history class that I was taking when I first came into this project.

Posted by scott

Unless you're staff on this project, there's not a whole lot to see, beyond the anecdotes and updates occasionally appearing here. Probably no-one wants to look too closely at an ongoing transcription project, anyway. For the stouter of heart, though, here's a tiny peep behind the scenes . . .

Posted by naomi

Trying to guess what future users of our critical edition will search for is not easy.

A scrap of paper

17 May 2013
Posted by amy

Something exciting happened when Shane and I did our first tandem proofreading session earlier this week. Since the word "exciting" can rarely be applied to the act of proofreading, I thought I would share the story.

Posted by shane

We have just completed transcribing the first section of Harry Watkins's diary, which begins on November 20, 1845 and concludes on May 31, 1846. Within this time span of only half a year, Watkins was a very busy working actor. He writes about having either seen or performed in over 30 plays, his attendance at a public execution, and his travels by steamship around the Gulf of Mexico between Galveston, TX and New Orleans, LA or wherever he lands an acting gig.

Proofreading begins!

27 Apr 2013
Posted by naomi

On Friday, the Editors met to began establishing the proofreading process. We have elected to do tandem proofreading (following ADE best practices) meaning that one person reads out the text of the manuscript while the other follows along with the transcription, making edits as needed. This relatively straightforward process was made somewhat tricky by the fact that we are proofreading for not only the content, but the XML tags.

Posted by shane

I have just completed transcribing and coding the first batch of digital scans of Harry Watkins's diary. This folder does not include much content from Watkins's writing but rather correspondence from his daughter Amy to the Skinners (who in 1938 were the first to publish portions of his diary), as well as practical notes from what seems to be archivists involved in scanning his books. It was a good way to start getting acquainted with certain XML tags (such as "unclear" because much of Amy's handwriting required that tag!) before diving into Harry's entries.

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