Editing Modernism in Canada


Author Archive

June 8, 2013

DHSI2013: Susan Schreibman and the Versioning Machine

Early(ish) Saturday morning, the Versioning and Collation DHSI workshop had the opportunity to participate in a somewhat impromptu session with Dr. Susan Schreibman — the Long Room Hub Senior Lecturer in Digital Humanities in the Department of English at Trinity College Dublin and self-proclaimed representative of the “TEI police” — on her work developing the Versioning Machine.

Susan calls the Versioning Machine “a piece of software in a box designed for non-programmers.” On a most basic level, the software is meant to create editions online: users create single TEI documents which the Versioning Machine (using XSLT) separates into several other documents, or versions. No installations are required because transformations are on the client side of the application.

The Versioning Machine is very much a collaborative effort built by generations of literary scholars, designers, and developers. Admittedly, “the Versioning Machine” is a bit of a misnomer, because it isn’t really a “machine” — humans do the work, and the software displays the multiple versions of the text.

In developing this program, Susan and her team were and continue to be very concerned with the ethics of versions. What do we privilege? What constitutes an “authoritative” version or edition? Therefore, a chief advantage of the Versioning Machine is that it does not require users to appoint a base text, which means that users do not have to privilege one text over another. In this way, the software offers literary scholars an alternative to the variorum, as well as the opportunity to step back from the more traditional model which privileges the latest published version over earlier versions (for example, how we have viewed and taught the work of Yeats).

The future of the Versioning Machine is bright. For this coming year, Susan has secured funding for a postdoc who will be charged with further developing the software. At this point, however, Susan does not know what the Versioning Machine will look like after this postdoc. Daniel Carter from the Modernist Versions Project spent this past year working on the Versioning Machine, but he ultimately ended up versioning the software. Although the back end of Daniel’s version looks very different from the current version of the Versioning Machine, the front end is still very similar.

One of Susan’s main concerns in developing the Versioning Machine — both in the past and in future design — is the question of how to create “digital stuff that lasts.” It is no longer advisable to design with the two “p” words — perpetuity and proprietary — in mind; instead, Susan intends to create durable data that will last through future migrations. The TEI community, for example, has lasted because of its anticipation of what people will use based on what they are currently using; Susan envisions that kind of durability for the Versioning Machine.

June 3, 2013

The Long Now of Ulysses

How do new media forms change interpretations and representations of literature at a practical, exhibitionist level? This past spring, students in two graduate courses at the University of Victoria (The Modernist Novel and Intro to Digital Literary Studies) worked under the curatorial guidance of Stephen Ross and Jentery Sayers to figure that out.


Using James Joyce’s Ulysses as its point of reference, the resulting exhibit — The Long Now of Ulysses — combines digital and analogue media both to highlight passages of the text, and to tie those passages, as well as the novel’s themes and motifs in general, to contemporary events, places, etc. The exhibit, which inhabits physical space in the Maltwood Gallery located downstairs in McPherson Library and ethereal space via the Maker Lab website, blends the tangible with the abstract, and in doing so engages the various ways through which the text is mediated.


The Long Now of Ulysses did not arrive without its issues. After the first heady days of brainstorming possibilities which included smell, interactive sound, and a bucket of raw kidneys, the realities of labour and the space took precedence. Many of the co-curators had to become familiar with Ulysses (which is no minor task), while others had to learn new digital tools and procedures. Further, the Maltwood Gallery — although centrally located and attractively situated — shares space with the library, and more particularly, the graduate study carrels. Those concerns limited the auditory possibilities, and effectively curtailed the hoped-for olfactory exhibition.


A significant factor in all aspects of the exhibit has been — somewhat predictably — labour. Instead of including everything Ulysses, the co-curators have had to prioritize, and to cut out those things which are beyond the scope of time and labour. Fortunately, the central concepts, items, and projects have made it through unscathed, and are available for perusal in the exhibit.


The physical side of the Long Now of Ulysses exhibit is now on display in the Maltwood Gallery (downstairs in McPherson Library/Mearns Centre for Learning). Online components are accessible at the Maker Lab website — check it out before August 12.

May 31, 2013

Anouk Lang, Alan Crawley, and TCLLP

EMiC co-applicant Anouk Lang, Lecturer in English Studies at the University of Strathclyde, UK, is currently working on an edition of correspondence between writers, editors, critics, and other individuals who were associated with Alan Crawley, the editor of Contemporary Verse. Given that he was unusually supportive of women, and also that he disrupted the dominance of networks and publication outlets in eastern Canada within critical narratives of the development of modern poetry over the twentieth century, Crawley is a figure who occupies an intriguing position within Canadian literature, modernism, and periodical culture more generally.

As such a figure, Crawley fits right into Anouk’s broader research into the way culture — specifically ideas about modernist aesthetics, literary innovation, what is understood to constitute “avant-garde” practice, and so on — is transmitted from person to person and from place to place, both within and beyond Canada. Crawley had a lot of cultural authority by the time Contemporary Verse ceased publication in 1953, but he came by that authority in ways very different from those by which others — men, mostly — who were controlling what was published, what was anthologized, and what was deemed worthy of critical attention in the mid-twentieth century came by their authority. Crawley’s letters are hugely important in understanding his influence, given that his public work editing Contemporary Verse was underpinned by a vast amount of private work — supported by his wife Jean and by other women including Dorothy Livesay, Floris McLaren, and Doris Ferne — that is largely invisible until you begin looking at the letters.

At this point, Anouk is several years into the process of visiting the archives and gathering the scans of all the correspondence that might go into her edition. Crawley’s correspondence is voluminous, and it is spread across a number of archives across Canada. While she would love nothing more than to tour Library and Archives Canada (LAC) and various university special collections, gather all of Crawley’s letters, and then select the best, Anouk is based in the UK and has a young family. Therefore, she needs to be strategic about the data gathering while still producing a volume with a coherent shape and compelling narrative.

Anouk knows to plan well in advance, and she makes sure to take advantage of every transatlantic trip: when at TEMiC in Peterborough in 2010, she was able to spend several afternoons in the archives at Trent; a conference in Ottawa last year gave her some time at LAC; and maternity leave allowed her three days at the Queen’s archives with the Crawley papers. Moreover, Anouk benefitted from Kaarina Mikalson’s trip to the archives at the University of Manitoba: Kaarina scanned some letters between Crawley and Livesay in addition to the work she was doing on Bart Vautour’s project.

In terms of the project’s future, Anouk is very excited about its potential to reveal previously obscured insights about cultural transmission by bringing the metadata from these letters — details about authors, recipients, dates, georeferences of where they were sent from and sent to — into conversation with the metadata from other collections of correspondence. Anouk has joined with some likeminded modernist scholars who also work on twentieth-century correspondence, and they are considering what it would look like to build a digital interface on top of a database of correspondence metadata which would enable users to find connections — social, geographical, prosopographical — between individuals who were significant within twentieth-century literature.

This project — entitled Twentieth-Century Literary Letters (TCLLP) — will provide an elegant solution to publishers’ concerns about concurrent digital (free) and print editions. While the full-text of the letters will be available in print form, only the metadata will be available online (given that it is unlikely that permission to publish the full-text will be forthcoming for every single letter from all of the collections). However, even with this restriction, the ability to cross-reference people, places, dates, and other elements will potentially open up further avenues for research. Hopefully, the digital resource will drive people to the primary source (the print edition), while readers of the print edition can add a new dimension to their reading of the letters by going to the digital tool and exploring the connections with other places and writers. It feels like a very exciting time to be working on correspondence, and no doubt new digital humanities tools will arise in the next few years that will go even further in deepening what can be learned about the development of modernism in Canada and beyond.

Anouk and the rest of the TCLLP team would love to hear from others also working on correspondence in this period who are interested in bringing the metadata from their materials into a wider conversation.

May 13, 2013

Alana Fletcher and George Whalley

Queen’s University student Alana Fletcher has recently been awarded a second EMiC doctoral stipend to continue working towards the production of scholarly digital and print editions of the works of George Whalley. Over the last year, Alana has collaborated with Michael DiSanto on a specific component of the project: the production of an open-access online database of primary materials that includes scans of Whalley’s poetry manuscripts and typescripts, related letters, personal papers, and photographs.

The database — which was adapted from the Algoma University Archive (AUA) and the Shingwauk Residential School Centre, and built by Robin Isard, the Algoma eSystems Librarian, and Rick Scott, the Library Technologies Specialist — is connected to Michael’s open-access Whalley website, where it will eventually go live. The database is RAD (Rules for Archival Description), OAI (Open Archives Initiative), and Dublin Core compliant, so the research materials collected here can be easily moved into almost any library or archival database programmatically via OAI protocols.

Alana is the person on the ground at the Queen’s University Archives and the George Whalley fonds, which contains over 10 metres of textual material, which includes notes, drafts, final copies and correspondence pertaining to Whalley’s published and unpublished book-length works, shorter essays and articles, and poetry. Also available in the fonds are notes, correspondence, scripts, and recordings of the CBC radio and television pieces which feature Whalley as narrator or author, as well as personal and professional correspondence, and professional reports produced by Whalley in his role as a university administrator, author, and editor. There are also about 100 photographs and 50 maps, as well as 51 audio reels and 4 audio discs in the fonds. Alana is primarily occupied with scanning, editing, uploading to the database, and describing relevant texts. Since Alana began to work on the project in May 2012, over 4075 pages of Whalley’s manuscripts, typescripts, journals, and letters have been processed.

In a recent colloquium presentation at Queen’s University, Alana used Whalley’s letters to his mother, Dorothy, as an interdisciplinary case study of the ongoing personal narrativization that makes drastic role changes internally coherent, and the essential role played by readers/listeners in “witnessing” the textual construction of selfhood. Alana is now updating the database with scans and transcriptions of a comprehensive selection of Whalley’s letters to Dorothy between 1927 (the date of the earliest letter in the fonds) and 1956 (the date of the latest letter and the year of Dorothy’s death).

The main challenge Alana has faced in her work on this project is the surprising lack of awareness of Whalley and his legacy in Canada. She hopes that this project will not only publicize Whalley’s work, but also recover Whalley as the remarkable force behind the mobilization of a modernist ethic in Canada, and as a prolific producer of critical and creative works, an influential professor and institutional figure, and an intriguing humanist, sportsman, spy, and aesthete.

Alana, Michael, and Robin will be presenting a paper on the database — entitled “Archiving from the Start: An Archive Database Solution for Literary Research” — at DHSI in early June. Alana will also be presenting on Whalley in June at Trinity College Dublin, Ireland, where she will be giving a paper at on Whalley’s multiple-language CBC radio adaptation of Primo Levi’s Se questo è un uomo.

May 13, 2013

Michael DiSanto and George Whalley

EMiC co-applicant Michael DiSanto (Assistant Professor of English at Algoma University) is working on George Whalley (1915-83), the eminent and accomplished man of letters. Michael’s work on Whalley consists of many parts, the first of which is an edition of Whalley’s complete poems for publication in 2015. A digital edition of a wide selection of Whalley’s poetry manuscripts, typescripts, and correspondence will be a counterpart to the print edition of the collected poems. Alana Fletcher, a PhD candidate in the Department of English at Queen’s University who currently has an EMiC PhD Stipend, is co-editing the digital edition with Michael. Following the digital edition, Michael plans to edit a new collection of Whalley’s essays that will likely correspond closely with Whalley’s own plans for a two-volume edition, but will include some late and unpublished writings. Michael’s work on Whalley will culminate in the biography of Whalley he plans to publish by 2022.

At the centre of Michael’s work is an online database constructed by Robin Isard, the eSystems Librarian at Algoma University, using open-source Drupal software. The database is Rules for Archival Description (RAD) compliant, and will continue to grow until Michael is finished. At the end of his work, Michael will make the database — which is proceeding in collaboration with the Queen’s University Archives — available to the public on the Internet.

Since beginning to work on Whalley, Michael has discovered over 100 unpublished poems, which will more than double the number of Whalley’s extant poems. Michael and Alana have digitized no fewer than 4000 pages of poetry manuscripts, typescripts, letters, and other documents — all of these pages are being loaded into the database. Stacey Devlin, an undergraduate student who has been working with Michael since May 2012, has transcribed no fewer than 1200 transcriptions of poems, letters, journals, and other documents, all of which are being loaded into the database. Stacy has also constructed an elaborate and remarkable timeline of Whalley’s life that draws on his military records, letters, accounts published by friends, family, students, and colleagues, and many other sources.

To support this work, Michael has received funding from several sources, including EMiC, SSHRC, the Northern Ontario Heritage Fund Corporation, and Algoma University. With this funding, Michael has and will continue to be able to hire research assistants to work on the Whalley project. In addition to financial support, Michael has also received great help from a number of people, and especially from Whalley’s family, colleagues, students, and friends.

Michael has only run into some minor issues in his work so far. Technology has proven to be a small obstacle, but Michael has been able to rely on the expertise of Robin Isard, who has been generous in devoting much time to work on the project. Geography has also been a bit of an issue — Michael’s distance from Kingston and the Queen’s University Archives makes it difficult to visit as often as he would like. Moreover, Whalley’s private papers are in Southwold, England. Again, distance makes it difficult for Michael to visit as often or for as long as he would like — as does his heavier-than-average teaching load — but he has arranged a sabbatical for 2013-14, which will allow him to spend time in Kingston and Southwold.

For Michael, researching Whalley has raised several questions: how many more poems will be discovered, and how many more of Whalley’s letters will appear? What will the design of the digital edition be? Also, how many people will be willing to contribute to the Whalley biography? And, ultimately, will this work be successful in bringing to Whalley the attention his writing demands and deserves?

Michael has also been working on several papers on Whalley, including an essay entitled “Editing a Legend: George Whalley” for the EMiC Special Edition of “Essays in Canadian Writing.” This summer in Victoria, Michael will present four Whalley-related papers. One, on the RAD-compliant database, Michael will present with Robin Isard. He will present another paper related to the database with Robin and Alana at DHSI. The two other papers are Michael’s work alone: one is on Whalley’s poem “Lazarus,” which was written in response to Epstein’s sculpture of the same name, and the other is on Whalley’s and George Grant’s ideas regarding the university.

May 5, 2013

Zailig Pollock and the Digital Page

Zailig Pollock, Professor in the Department of English Literature at Trent University, is the principal investigator, and — alongside Dean Irvine and Sandra Djwa — one of the general editors of the Digital Page, an online digital edition of the Collected Works of P.K. Page to be housed on the Modernist Commons. The project is supported by SSHRC, and by EMiC, in the form of research assistantships and a PhD stipend, as well as through funding for conferences and DHSI. Trent University has also provided space and in-kind funding as part of its role as a partner institution.

Not unlike P.K. Page herself, the Digital Page is complex and multi-faceted. Right now, the team is working on the first half of the project, which includes designing an interface for the edition, which will serve as a template for other EMiC-affiliated editions; transcribing and encoding material for the first volumes of the edition to appear (poetry, Brazilian Journal, Mexican Journal, Visual Art); and beginning the process of identifying, acquiring, transcribing, and encoding material for the correspondence volume, which will be the last of the series to actually appear.

So far, Zailig has developed TEI and XSLT for encoding poetry and prose, and for generating a variety of HTML files for such things as representation of manuscript revisions, clean reading text, list of emendations, list of regularizations. He has focussed especially on the representation of complex revisions — some of the pages he deals with have gone through half-a-dozen or more stages of revision, sometimes over an extended period of time. Zailig is quite satisfied with the TEI/XSLT aspect of the project, which has advanced to the point that he is able to produce HTML files that do whatever he wants them to do.

The main challenge Zailig has faced is a lack of technical expertise — both his own lack, and the lack at Trent University in general. Because no one editor has the all of the expertise required to produce a digital edition, collaboration is essential. Without the support of EMiC, this project would be much more difficult, perhaps impossible. In terms of interface design, Zailig is working with the Modernist Commons to develop an interface for the Digital Page which will include such things as a timeline to serve as the spine of the edition linking all of Page’s written and visual work and events of her life, collations, fully integrated text and images, and textual apparatus, among other things. There are three other aspects of the edition which are under way but not yet settled: text/image interface, collation tools, and a search engine. For all of these, Zailig is depending on the developers at the Modernist Commons.

Zailig’s main overall concern is that he is the only EMiC-affiliated editor working with XSLT, even though TEI files cannot be integrated into a digital edition without XSLT. Although Zailig took the XSLT course at DHSI, he found it to be very challenging for someone without a background in programming. Further, the course did not really focus on the needs of editors, who are never going to master the enormous complexity of XSLT as a whole, but who need to be familiar enough with it to do basic coding and to discuss more complex needs intelligently with a developer. To encourage a basic and adequate familiarity with XSLT rather than actual expertise, Zailig hopes to offer a course on XSLT for EMiC with his son, who is an expert in XSLT.

Zailig is also representing EMiC in a joint project with Library and Archives Canada (LAC) to digitize Canadian modernist literary manuscripts in their collection. In addition to Page, the first phase of digitization will include  Robertson Davies (diaries), F.R. Scott, Louis Dudek, and Elizabeth Smart.

April 26, 2013

Marc Fortin and The Downfall of Temlaham

EMiC co-applicant Marc André Fortin, Assistant Professor of Canadian Literature at Université de Sherbrooke, is currently researching and editing a scholarly edition of Marius Barbeau’s 1928 novel The Downfall of Temlaham. Barbeau’s novel was originally published in 1928, with a second edition published by Hurtig Press in 1973. Because both of these editions are out of print and difficult to find, Marc’s project will help to fill a gap in a very important moment for Canadian modernism in the literary and visual arts, cultural production in Canada, and in the historical understand of colonial and indigenous contact and its present-day effects with regard to land rights and indigenous self-representation.

Marc has been working on this edition of The Downfall of Temlaham since joining EMiC as a doctoral fellow in 2009. Initially, he intended to produce a text that incorporates the rich ethnographic sources Barbeau collected during his many field trips to the Skeena River, the traditional and present home of the Gitxsan. The Marius Barbeau Fonds at the archives of the Canadian Museum of Civilization in Gatineau, Québec offers access to more than 30 meters of ethnographic notes, 2,000 artifacts, original Gitxsan stories, translations of those stories, over 1,000 books and articles, and sound recordings of songs and legends that Barbeau collected over his lifetime, many of which are directly related to The Downfall of Temlaham and those who are represented in it.

However, Marc has since changed his approach: this work has led him into a number of different areas that have changed and shaped his opinions on modernism, indigenous studies, editing, ethnography, and the digital humanities, among others. In particular, Marc has come to realize that this is a far more complicated and complex project than he originally thought, as the stories are owned not by the Canadian Museum of Civilization, but by the Gitxsan community — even if Canadian copyright law does not necessarily acknowledge such ownership. With that in mind, Marc needs to think critically about the ethics of publishing the text in the format he originally desired.

Marc sees this project as a wide-ranging learning experience that has led him to branch out in a number of different directions. Since beginning his research into The Downfall of Temlaham, he has been able to explore many different facets of the editing process, modernist literature, indigenous/settler relations, copyright law, land rights claims, indigenous politics, database structures, institutional ownership of Canadian history, museum and archival holdings, and a number of other related areas of studies. The challenges Marc has faced in his work have led him to reconsiderations and refocused interpretations of scholarly editing, working with indigenous communities, governmental institutions, and the collaborative environment of large-scale digital humanities projects.

As the need to create an ethical, collaborative, and shared dialogue between educational institutions and indigenous communities is still ongoing, Marc feels that his project could both benefit from and help produce such a dialogue. Nevertheless, there is still much work to be done, and with the Gitxsan faced with neo-colonial intrusions into their land by the government and business, there is an obvious barrier to getting their approval to publish a text that could be said to have helped produce a certain stereotype of the Indigene in Canada.

April 22, 2013

James Neufeld and the Davies Diaries Project

James Neufeld, Professor Emeritus in the Department of English at Trent University and EMiC co-applicant, is editor in chief of the digital edition of the diaries of Robertson Davies — the Davies Diaries. Davies, a prominent Canadian novelist and man of letters, was a prolific writer. Dating from 1935 to 1995, the entries — which Davies divided into categories such as Personal Diaries, Theatre Diaries, Travel Diaries, Massey College Diaries, and day books — contain approximately three million words.

The Davies Diaries project has been included in the manuscript digitization project being jointly undertaken by EMiC and Library and Archives Canada (LAC). This means that the final edition will include digitized images of every page of the diaries, linked to the LAC catalogue. Although Neufeld and the team are still in the initial phases of the project, they have already completed considerable preparatory work. In particular, they have developed the TEI and XSLT for the project, and have generated sample pages in HTML. Currently, them team is transcribing and coding all diary files that have not yet been transcribed, and also proofreading and coding computer files of transcriptions that have already been done by Davies’s daughter and literary executor. Once these two tasks are completed, all the diaries will have been transcribed, proofed and coded, ready for editing for online presentation.

Neufeld and the team have faced several issues in their work so far. A particular challenge has been annotating Davies’s numerous and sometimes cryptic historical, cultural, and biographical allusions. Another challenge the team faces centres on how to present the diaries as chronologically continuous while also preserving Davies’s division into separate volumes and separate categories. On the technical side, Neufeld’s team are developing a timeline and an interface for the edition, both of which will be done in conjunction with work on the Digital Page currently in progress at the Modernist Commons. The team is continuing to explore the possibilities and requirements of TEI and XSLT, which will be used in the final online presentation of the diaries.

For Neufeld, while the breadth of Davies’s interests and of his circle of acquaintance provides a challenge to anyone who presumes to annotate this material, it also stands testament to the broad social and historical value of these documents. Davies himself touched on this idea when he said, “my diaries are the stuff of which social history is made, and I cannot imagine that Canada has an embarrassment of such material.”

Neufeld hopes to interest Canadian cultural institutions — such as the Shaw Festival and the Stratford Shakespearean Festival — in participating in the online presentation of the diaries through links from their archival websites to relevant passages in the diaries. This seems a logical step as the Davies Diaries project has recently received from the Davies estate Davies’s collection of his theatre programs, reaching back to 1938.

Neufeld sees the possibilities for hyperlink material — textual, graphic, audio and video — in the final edition as both endless and endlessly exciting. A considerable body of this material is included in the Davies fond at LAC, and will be incorporated into the digital edition. For now, Neufeld and the team are focussed on the next steps of the project, one of which is the preparation of applications for major funding.

April 10, 2013

Kate Hennessy and the Inuvialuit Living History Project

EMiC co-applicant Kate Hennessy, an Assistant Professor at Simon Fraser University’s School of Interactive Arts and Technology, is the producer and designer of the collaboratively developed Inuvialuit Living History Project. As a digital exhibit and living archive, the project re-presents Inuvialuit ethnographic objects from an Inuvialuit perspective, while also engaging issues relating to ownership, repatriation, and digital cultural heritage.

The Inuvialuit Living History Project features artifacts collected by Hudson Bay Company trader Roderick MacFarlane in the 1860s on behalf of the Smithsonian Institution. The MacFarlane Collection — which, at over 5 000 items, is perhaps the most significant collection of Inuvialuit ethnographic artifacts — was split primarily between the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History in Washington, DC, the McCord Museum in Montreal, and National Museums Scotland in Edinburgh. Thus, the MacFarlane Collection has never been exhibited in its entirety. Further, because of geographic distance and the limited digitization of the collection, for Inuvialuit peoples the collection remained largely inaccessible.

In 2009, Kate travelled with a delegation of Inuvialuit elders and youth, and a team of filmmakers, archaeologists, and educators to the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History. After viewing the MacFarlane Collection and making a documentary called A Case of Access (produced by the Inuvialuit Communications Society), the team decided to create a digital exhibit and archive — Inuvialuit Pitqusiit Inuuniarutiat: Inuvialuit Living History.

Launched in May 2012, the project website presents objects in the MacFarlane Collection and multimedia documentation of the Inuvialuit delegation’s first experience with the objects in 2009 (including A Case of Access). The website has been designed to allow for archiving user contributions, ongoing research, and community projects, and to change as priorities and interests change. Right now, the team is working to add more content from the Smithsonian collections. In particular, they are working to add a representative sample of the natural history collection, and to connect it to the ethnographic collection already on the Inuvialuit Living History site. The team is developing follow-up projects — including a sewing project that is based on clothing patterns traced during their research at the Smithsonian — that will facilitate community engagement with the project.

The Inuvialuit Living History Project is produced in collaboration with the Inuvialuit Cultural Resource Centre and the Smithsonian’s Arctic Studies Center (see the list of team members). Consequently, maintaining relationships has been a central focus for Kate and the team. In addition to working with the Inuvialuit Cultural Resource Centre and the Arctic Studies Center, the team is also committed to developing and maintaining relationships with Inuvialuit communities through consultation and outreach. As with many digital projects, funding and preservation are the project’s major challenges. However, the strong relationships that the team has made with the Inuvialuit Cultural Resource Centre, Parks Canada, and Inuvialuit communities make the team optimistic that they will be able to overcome those challenges, and to make the Inuvialuit Living History Project a dynamic and representative living archive of Inuvialuit cultural heritage.

April 8, 2013

Margaret Steffler and P.K. Page’s Mexican Journal

Margaret Steffler, an Associate Professor in the Department of English Literature at Trent University and EMiC co-applicant, is editor of P.K. Page’s Mexican Journal. During the early 1960s, Page’s husband served as Canada’s ambassador to Mexico, and during that time, Page recorded her experiences and reflections in her journal. Unpublished during her lifetime, the Mexican Journal features Page’s entries from March 1960 to January 1964.

Right now, Margaret is in the final stages of the preparation of the Mexican Journal for Porcupine’s Quill Press. She is currently working on the index for the edition, which will be published in the fall of 2013. So far, Porcupine’s Quill Press has published two volumes in a series of volumes of Page’s work — the Mexican Journal will be the third. These print volumes will serve as a complement to the upcoming digital edition of The Collected Works of P.K. Page.

The largest challenge Margaret faced in editing the Mexican Journal was deciding what to include and what to cut from the manuscript for the print publication. In the end, Margaret had to cut a great deal of material from the edition. Another major challenge in this project was cutting down the explanatory notes for the print edition. Margaret and her team were only able to include a fraction of the research and notes they prepared in the process of creating this edition. All of this cut material will, however, be available in the future digital edition.

In addition, the Porcupine’s Quill Press print edition will include illustrations. Once again, as with the entries and notes, Margaret was forced to select a representative sample of illustrations, and this involved cutting material. Nonetheless, she found the process of bringing together the journal and the illustrations to be very exciting and rewarding.

The next step for Page’s Mexican Journal will be to move towards digital publication. Thankfully, all of the work Margaret and her team have done for the print edition will be used for the digital edition. In the process of preparing the print edition, Margaret has been well aware of the next stage of the digital edition, so she and her team have worked carefully to ensure that they have all of the material they need to start on the digital edition as soon as the print edition is published.

For more information about Page’s Mexican Journal, visit Porcupine’s Quill Press.