Title

Lightning Talk: National Literatures in Mass Digitization Projects

Location

KIPJ Room EF

Session Type

10-minute lightning talk

Start Date

28-4-2020 10:11 AM

End Date

28-4-2020 10:20 AM

Keywords

mass digitization, information management, literature, national literatures, postcolonialism

Abstract

Mass digitization projects partnering with libraries to scan entire collections have included numerous works by Australian authors and works published in or about Australia and these digital replicas preserve many encounters with knowledge systems, institutions and readers many of which have residual marks on the pages of these works. This has implications for how Australian texts appear and are accessed in the so-called World Library. For example, one of the HathiTrust’s copies of Henry Handel Richardson’s The Getting of Wisdom, (1910 edition, digitised from the University of Michigan in 2010) includes the handwritten inscription “Richardson, Henrietta” in the top right-hand corner of the title page – an unfortunate assumption about the author’s name. Similarly Miles Franklin’s My Brilliant Career suffers the international confusion of national copyright and is not made fully accessible in Google Books nor the HathiTrust – despite the fact that its sequel My Career Goes Bung is. These idiosyncrasies of access, copyright, inscription and institutional stamping have implications for the access to national literatures. Scanning preserves the materiality of the text but introduces a range of complications that change readers’ interactions with and interpretations of the work. Texts are marked by institutional stamps from international libraries and the markings and traces of their staff and readers. Additionally, the works and oeuvres of important out-of-copyright authors are incomplete, differentially accessible (undermining the rhetoric of access the projects maintain) and colonially inscribed. This paper uses case study texts to illuminate some implications of the ways in which Australian texts appear in and are accessible through significant international projects.

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Apr 28th, 10:11 AM Apr 28th, 10:20 AM

Lightning Talk: National Literatures in Mass Digitization Projects

KIPJ Room EF

Mass digitization projects partnering with libraries to scan entire collections have included numerous works by Australian authors and works published in or about Australia and these digital replicas preserve many encounters with knowledge systems, institutions and readers many of which have residual marks on the pages of these works. This has implications for how Australian texts appear and are accessed in the so-called World Library. For example, one of the HathiTrust’s copies of Henry Handel Richardson’s The Getting of Wisdom, (1910 edition, digitised from the University of Michigan in 2010) includes the handwritten inscription “Richardson, Henrietta” in the top right-hand corner of the title page – an unfortunate assumption about the author’s name. Similarly Miles Franklin’s My Brilliant Career suffers the international confusion of national copyright and is not made fully accessible in Google Books nor the HathiTrust – despite the fact that its sequel My Career Goes Bung is. These idiosyncrasies of access, copyright, inscription and institutional stamping have implications for the access to national literatures. Scanning preserves the materiality of the text but introduces a range of complications that change readers’ interactions with and interpretations of the work. Texts are marked by institutional stamps from international libraries and the markings and traces of their staff and readers. Additionally, the works and oeuvres of important out-of-copyright authors are incomplete, differentially accessible (undermining the rhetoric of access the projects maintain) and colonially inscribed. This paper uses case study texts to illuminate some implications of the ways in which Australian texts appear in and are accessible through significant international projects.