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Digital Humanities Seminar: Abigail Williams

October 4, 2013

How did we read? Mapping eighteenth century popular culture with the Digital Miscellanies Index
Abigail Williams, St Peter’s College, Oxford
Monday 28th October, 5:30pm, Woburn Room G22, Senate House, London
You are warmly invited to the first meeting of the London Digital Humanities Group this semester, on Monday 28 October at 5.30pm. There will be a short presentation about the Digital Miscellanies Index (a newly-launched resource) from its creator, Abigail Williams, followed by discussion and questions.
Printed miscellanies (collections of verse by several hands) were among the most popular ways in which poetry was consumed in the eighteenth century, and a major means by which texts and ideas were diffused. Gathering short selections from longer books, they made poems and parts of poems available to wide readerships, including the less well educated and economically disadvantaged, but they are complex to describe and time-consuming to negotiate.  The Leverhulme-funded Digital Miscellanies Index project, led by Abigail Williams and Jennifer Batt and completed in September 2013  ( provides the first fully searchable first line index of the c.40,000 poems contained in the surviving printed poetic miscellanies published between 1700 and 1780. In this talk, we will discuss the evolution of the project, and the conceptual and technical challenges we found along the way. We will outline some of the findings of the research, and what they might mean for eighteenth-century studies, and how we hope the resource might develop in the future. We have also collaborated with musicians and cultural organisations on turning miscellanies into performance and educational resources, and we will consider the benefits of this knowledge exchange, and how academic digital resources might reach a wider audience.
If you would like to attend, please sign up here  (Signing up isn’t mandatory, but it helps us to anticipate numbers.)

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