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.