Posted by naomi

Because we love to talk about Harry Watkins and because (we hope) others like to hear about our project, we enthusiastically accepted a recent invitation from Michael Lueger at HowlRound to be interviewed for his Theatre History podcast series. The interview is short but wide-ranging and gave us a space to discuss why we think the diary is important, highlight amusing Tweets, update listeners on the status of the project, and share some our favorite entries.

Posted by naomi

What a fabulous way to start 2016 -- The National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) has awarded the Harry Watkins Project an "Award for Faculty" for 2016! The panel of reviewers described the project as “impressive” and “field-changing,” and noted both its scholarly and pedagogical value. This award will support work on the chapters for the print edition of the diary and, by extension, the digital edition as well. 

Censoring his past

09 Jan 2015
Posted by naomi

What better way to start off the New Year than with a trip to Harvard Theatre Collection to uncover disappointed love, drunken antics, and disputed records?

Through some heavy etching out and repeating letter forms over the initial text, lengthy sections of the diary have been redacted by Harry. What do these passages concern? Chiefly his love life, bouts of excessive drinking, and disputes surrounding authorship of his plays, and these alterations show Harry's awareness of future readers.

The Watkins Retreat

26 Aug 2014
Posted by naomi

In late August, the two project Co-Directors left the city and the distractions of day-to-day life to really focus on the project's needs and next steps. Before the semester started, we wanted to address such issues as clarifying our transcription policy (again!) and proofreading procedures. It turns out we agree on some of the things we were concerned were problematic (like when is a comma a comma?), and did not agree on some of the things we both thought were obvious (when is an add an add?).

Posted by naomi

15 months after the start of this project, we are delighted to announce we have completed the transcription phase of the Harry Watkins Diary project -- all 1180 pages of the diary have been read, transcribed, and fully encoded by one of our fabulous team members allowing us to read and search his entire diary.

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 naomi

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

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 naomi

We are thrilled to announce our project A Player and a Gentleman: The Diary of Harry Watkins, Nineteenth-Century American Actor—a critical edition of American stage actor Harry Watkins’s expansive diary. From 1845 to 1860, Watkins recorded his daily activities, the roles he performed, the plays he saw, the people he met, the books he read, and his impressions of current events.