The task of transcribing order books from the Hogarth Press sounded straightforward enough to me. I typed out the first few rows of Vita Sackville-West’s All Passion Spent from left to right: date, cumulative total copies sold, markings (such as check marks), purchaser name, code / notes (such as LL), number of copies ordered, date order received, date order filled, and price (in pounds, shillings, and pence). I took time with these first few entries, making sure I captured every detail. As I continued, I became more curious about the materials I was working with. Who was Deighton Bell and why did he buy so many copies, just to return one of them? Why were Menzies and Hockliffe charged different amounts for the same number of copies? In my head, these mysterious buyers started to come to life. Transcription became less of a manual chore; it became a quest to uncover the framework of the Hogarth Press.
This post will provide a few excerpts from the chapter "Building a Critical Digital Archive" from our collectively-authored book Scholarly Adventures in the Digital Humanities. This post is intended as a introduction to understanding the distinctions among different objects found on this site. For the full description and rationale, please refer to our book.
Some Hogarth Press Centenary events coming up:
Celebrating the Hogarth Press: "A Press of One's Own," Wednesday, 10 May, Houghton Library and Bow & Arrow Press (Harvard)
https://hogarthpress100.wordpress.com/ Co-chairs, Modernism Seminar: Sam Alexander, Paige Reynolds, & J. P. Riquelme
Oxford Bodleian, Print-a-thon, May 13th