My early experience in the digital humanities was grounded in textual criticism and scholarly editing at the Rossetti Archive, where I worked with Jerome McGann on text encoding, interface design, and project management from ca. 1997 to 2004. For most of that time, I served as the Archive’s Design Editor.

the “#alt-ac” book

I am currently engaged in an entirely different kind of editing, as I’m putting together an open-access collection of essays provisionally titled “#alt-ac: Alternate Academic Careers for Humanities Scholars.” This is a book by and for people with deep training and experience in the humanities, who are working or are seeking employment — off the tenure track — within universities and colleges, or in allied knowledge and cultural heritage institutions such as museums, libraries, historical societies, and governmental humanities organizations.

June 2011 Update: It’s out! and it’s not a book. Read and listen to 24 stellar contributions by 33 #alt-ac scholar-practitioners at MediaCommons: #Alt-Academy. And here’s some local coverage in UVa Today on the project: Digital Humanities Expert Pioneers New Site for ‘Alt-Ac’ Careers.

scholarly editing

In addition, my ongoing scholarly editorial work focuses on Algernon Charles Swinburne, Rossetti’s contemporary — specifically his controversial 1866 volume, Poems and Ballads. This is a book with a fascinatingly vexed production and reception history. I plan to chronicle my work toward a critical edition in the pages of this blog.

National Portrait Gallery; by London Stereoscopic & Photographic Company, ca 1865
photo, National Portrait Gallery

An early version of my dissertation took the form of a scholarly edition of Poems and Ballads, First Series. The print embodiment of this edition, which includes a textual history, descriptive bibliographies, collation notes, and related material, was nearly complete, when I abandoned it for a more speculative dissertation full of case studies in humanities computing.

In the aftermath of that work, we built Juxta at ARP, and my next Swinburnian goal is to put all of the editions Poems and Ballads that I collated as a grad student into Juxta in XML format and deliver the whole on the Web.  I am also collaborating with Matthew Mitchell, formerly of Digital Research & Scholarship at UVA Library, on a Solr and Ruby-on-Rails interface for textual studies.  Matt has used my Swinburne XML, proofed with the assistance of Rob Stilling, as fodder for this research-and-development project.

    Some early thinking toward Poems and Ballads can be found in two presentations I gave in the year 2000:

  • Interfacing the Edition: a talk on image-based editing and digital facsimiles.
  • Interfacing the Rossetti Archive: a presentation on my work as Design Editor at the Rossetti Archive