On October 12, the Stainforth editors learned that we passed peer review by the Advanced Research Consortium (ARC), and we are preparing the Stainforth data and website for ingestion in 18thConnect.org. It was a very big day, and we crazy proud. This project began in Special Collections in 2012, at CU-Boulder during my PhD, where I met Deborah Hollis, my first co-editor. Debbie, who is head of Special Collections at CU-Boulder’s Norlin Library, introduced me to Stainforth’s library catalog manuscript that year while I was reading in the Women Poets of the Romantic Period collection. Seeing thousands of names and titles by women writers that were unfamiliar and lesser-known, we saw the potential for a digitized and searchable edition of the catalog to show a bigger picture of the scope of women’s authorship from the sixteenth through the nineteenth centuries. Our team grew to include Holley Long, a talented IT librarian, and we eventually won a significant grant to allow us to hire a programmer, Chad Marks, to help us build our vision for the digitized, searchable, TEI-encoded catalog. It’s been a long and windy road, but I’m grateful to my editorial team members past and present who helped us get here. I’m also proud of my own stubbornness, consistent efforts to manage such a big project, and perseverance over all kinds of challenges from lack of funding to the uncertainties of the job market. SCU essentially hired me as a DH scholar to do this work, feminist DH scholarship of the long 18th century, and bring this project to our university and our students.
Right now, I’m working on making tweaks to our TEI output that will assist 18thConnect in adding RDF to our XML to make our data into “items” that are searchable and findable when running search queries on 18thConnect.org. I’ll post another update when our data is live there, but for now, we’re toasting to a successful peer-review of this book-sized project and almost ten-year collaboration. Cheers!