Digitising Correspondence

Project summary

Digital formats are transforming the way we conceptualise ‘texts’ and ‘editions’, yet simultaneously we are witnessing a remarkable surge in interest in analogue materials (books). A particularly fascinating vehicle for examining these phenomena is written correspondence, rendered virtually obsolete by digital technologies for communication, and as such a formidable cognitive challenge for scholars. 

The conference ‘Speaking in Absence: Letters in the Digital Age’ (Weston Library and Wolfson College, 21 June 2016) saw the launch of ‘Bodleian Student Editions’, a collaboration between the Bodleian Libraries’ Department of Special Collections, Centre for Digital Scholarship, and the History Faculty’s Cultures of Knowledge project, to explore the potential of Bodleian resources and space for cross-disciplinary, skills-based training, through workshops in textual and digital scholarship. Students work with Bodleian manuscripts and with digital materials provided with BII funds. The workshops’ innovative structure and methodology have been received with overwhelming enthusiasm. The first workshop took place in the Centre for Digital Scholarship on 19 October, and the first Bodleian Student Edition was published at the end of November.

Lead investigator

Olivia Thompson, Faculty of Classics and Balliol College, University of Oxford

Research team

Helen Brown, Faculty of English and Hertford College, University of Oxford

Michaela Crawley, Faculty of History and Wolfson College, University of Oxford

Contact details for enquiries

Please email the lead investigator, Olivia Thompson, for any queries regarding this project.