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April 5, 5:30 p.m.
Norlin Library, Center for British and Irish Studies (5th floor)

Refreshments provided!

If you can, bring your laptop! (If you can't, do still come!)

Kirstyn Leuner

Department of English
Dartmouth College

Digital Methodologies for Recovery and The Stainforth Library of Women's Writing

Abstract: Digital Humanities projects that aim to recover texts or authors are the most “alive” when they are under construction, in medias res, and a mess. That is, in the middle stages of production, digital projects circulate with the greatest audience engagement because they invite scholars to think about and manipulate data, structures, and interfaces from within to fix problems or augment existing content in meaningful ways. The advantage that digital scholarship has over print, in this context, is that it can remain in an un-done productive state for a long time, even during and beyond peer-review. My talk will discuss methodologies for promoting critical thought and recovery from within a digital object in the context of an ongoing Digital Humanities project I direct called The Stainforth Library of Women's Writing. CU Libraries owns Francis Stainforth's library catalog manuscript, which is the original catalog for the largest private library of Anglophone women's writing collected in the nineteenth century. Many of the titles and authors in this catalog are little known and unknown, and our project strives to correct that. The Stainforth Library project is a composite project comprised primarily of a digital edition of Stainforth's library catalog manuscript. Its sub-projects include a mapping project, biographical research on the collector, pedagogy resources, and a social network analysis project, among others. For critical and technical reasons, we aim to keep the project published and peer-reviewed (eventually) and yet open and in-progress for as long as possible to support the ongoing work of recovering women writers with computing. My talk will share how we have accomplished this to date as well as our plans for future development. You can visit the Stainforth project at

Kirstyn Leuner got her Ph.D. from CU Boulder in 2014. She is currently a Neukom Fellow at Dartmouth College, and has published on book history, romanticism and technology, and 19th-century fiction. She is also the director of the Stainforth Library of Women's Writing project.