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Editing the Eartha M. M. White Collection: Online Promotion of Collaborative Textual Editing and Narratives in the Digital Archive

Project of Merit Winner!
Author: Carol Hemmingway
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Clayton McCarl


Editing the Eartha M. M. White Collection is an ongoing digital editing project that seeks to engage UNF’s students, faculty, and staff with the digital humanities through collaborative efforts. The project centers around the personal correspondence and other documents of Eartha M. M. White (1876–1974), the founder of the Clara White Mission and a leader of Jacksonville’s African American community. Project participants participate in textual scholarship by transcribing, editing, and encoding documents from the collection in TEI-XML. During the Spring 2020 semester, student research intern Carol Hemmingway led the project, coordinating and facilitating a series of open editing workshops. To improve the accessibility of the project and promote it outside of campus, she constructed a website using Omeka. The website created a more flexible and up-to-date online presence for the project’s output and facsimiles of the items from the White collection. This repository also facilitated the examination of questions of race and power in the editing process and narratives that can be formed in the creation of a digital archive. Consequently, she created an exhibit to present a positive counter-narrative of black self-worth and independence through African American history-writing efforts to balance the negative implicit narratives of poverty and suffering that already existed in the repository. The research conducted by Hemmingway during the spring workshops influenced the content of Dr. McCarl’s Intro to Electronic Textual Editing course of the summer 2020 semester, which presented new possibilities for expanding the project remotely.
Research Types: Undergraduate Research

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7 Responses

  1. Carol, this is an exciting step in making the Eartha White Collection accessible to many that will continue to engage with her legacy. I found your poster well organized and accessible, well done!

  2. This is a really well-done, informative poster, Carol. The many important aspects of the digital editing process are clearly presented. I really enjoyed learning about your project. Congratulations!

  3. Collaborative, long-term projects like this are often very difficult to sustain. So this project is even more impressive as it continues to make this valuable collection more and more accessible. Well done and thank you!

  4. Well done, Carol! You have done such amazing work with this project, from creating the online exhibit to leading the open editing workshops. By collaborating with not only students and faculty but also campus and community organizations, you have made this a truly collaborative and public facing project.

  5. It’s been really interesting to see this project continue and the work that is being completed. The site is a great resource for scholars and the public.

  6. This is a really wonderful project. I really love the focus on success and joy. White’s life was incredible and your project makes it easier for people to learn more.

  7. Wow Lynne, I know how hard you worked on this project and it paid off! I particularly respect your mindfulness in about constructing narratives that avoid problematic tropes in the representation of African American history. Our research can always be misinterpreted and taken out of context; your reflection on the impact of your own work shows your skill as a historian and respect for the people whose stories you are trying to capture.

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