Tuesday, April 29, 2008

The Modernist Journals Project

A very cool resource for those who enjoy Modernist Literature, especially poetry.

The Modernist Journals Project


The MJP is a multi-faceted project, which is intended to become a major resource for the study of the rise of modernism in the English-speaking world, with periodical literature at the center of this study. As such, its historical scope has a chronological range of 1890 to 1922, and a geographical range that extends to English language periodicals, wherever they were published. With magazines at the center, the MJP also has a generic range that extends to the digital publication of books directly connected to modernist periodicals and other supporting materials for the study of these periodicals. At this stage of the MJP's development, however, the chronological range of periodicals extends only from 1904 to 1922.

We end at 1922 for both intellectual and practical reasons: the practical reason is that copyright becomes an issue with publications from 1923 onward; the intellectual reason is that most scholars consider modernism to be fully fledged in 1922, a date marked by the publication of James Joyce's Ulysses and T. S. Eliot's The Waste Land. We are concentrating, then, on the rise of modernism, in which the magazines played a crucial role.


The MJP (http://www.modjourn.org) began in 1995 at Brown University, with funding from the University and small local grants, as a website of digital editions of periodicals connected to the rise of modernism in the English-speaking world. Our first major project began in 1996: a digital edition of The New Age, a British weekly magazine edited by A. R. Orage from 1907 to 1922. In the course of preparing this edition, the MJP generated various supporting materials, including a set of biographical sketches over a thousand artists mentioned in the magazine, with images of their work, along with essays on contributors to the magazine and historical introductions to each six-month volume. Our edition of The New Age was completed, with the aid of a grant from the NEH, in 2004.

The University of Tulsa joined the MJP in 2003. Using copies in Tulsa's McFarlin Library, we were able to add Dana, an Irish magazine of 1904-1905 best known for first publishing James Joyce, to our digital archive in 2005. In that same year, the MJP redesigned its technological infrastructure from scratch, both to accommodate growth and to bring its materials and methods into conformance with the best practices of the digital library community. (The technical details of the new MJP are discussed below.) At the same time, in response to requests from members of the Modernist Studies Association, the MJP has added a digital edition of the well-known Vorticist magazine, Blast, based on copies in the McFarlin Library. The MJP's website was also redesigned from the ground up, producing a data-driven, standards-compliant interface to the MJP's resources.

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