Today is Stacey Devlin’s last working day on the George Whalley project. Having been very successful in her undergraduate studies as a double major in English and History at Algoma University, she has won a SSHRC graduate scholarship and will pursue a MA in Public History at Western University in September. The great contribution she’s made to the Whalley project deserves public recognition.
Since coming aboard in May, 2012, Stacey has completed an extraordinary amount of work: thousands of pages of transcriptions of letters, diaries, poems, and other documents; a spreadsheet that records all of Whalley’s extant poems, their textual sources, and their dates and locations of composition; significant historical and bibliographical research, and much else. She has made many of the processes that are now taught to new research assistants. During her time, the Whalley database has grown significantly.
Stacey’s most impressive accomplishment is a timeline of Whalley’s life. As of today, there are well over 2000 entries that draw together details from Whalley’s letters, diaries and logs, poetry manuscripts and typescripts, military records, and other sources. With it, we can track where Whalley was and what he was doing week to week and, quite often, day to day. For every entry the source of the information is cited. Before too long, digital scans of the various documents will be linked to the timeline. It is already a remarkable scholarly resource and will become the foundation upon which much else is built.
Stacey has left an indelible mark on the whole project. Working with her has been a great pleasure. Though I am happy to see her set off for London, I am sad to lose her. Perhaps one day her journey in life will lead her back to Whalley. She will always be welcome.
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