Welcome to Unlocking the Mary Hamilton Papers!
This ambitious project exploits an almost untouched archive to answer important questions about reading, letter-writing and everyday language in Georgian England and the contribution made by social networks to these significant cultural practices. The Mary Hamilton Papers are scattered over eleven libraries in Britain and the UK: this project will reunite these papers in a complete, Open-Access scholarly edition. As the project develops, we will reconstruct and analyse Hamilton’s social networks. The remit of the project includes literary, historical and linguistic research, including forms of address and expression, and sociable reading practices, within and across those networks. The project will build on the earlier work of the Image-To-Text Project, which began the important work of transliterating the Mary Hamilton letters in the John Rylands library.
What will we be doing?
In the early stages the team are focussing their energies on transcribing, tagging and coding the letters in the John Rylands archive, using high-quality images produced by the library, for the purposes of the online edition. We will be constructing a ‘personography’ of correspondents and notable persons, in order to trace Hamilton’s social networks, and building a ‘Literary Encyclopedia’ to track reading experiences of correspondence. We will be contacting archives worldwide in order to hunt for any further Hamilton material not yet known to the project, so if you know of a Hamilton letter, or letters, that we may not be aware of, please get in touch! You can do this by using the contact form.
As the project progresses, we will be developing our four main research strands, which you can read about below. Watch this space for updates and snippets of what we find, or follow us on twitter!