The Faculty of English at Oxford University and the School of English and Digital Humanities at Cork University has received research funding as one of 12 projects for a UK-Ireland Collaboration in Digital Humanities Networking programme. The ‘Digital Edgeworth Network’ is a collaboration between the Faculty of English (PI Prof Ros Ballaster), and the School of English and Digital Humanities at UCC (PI Dr Clíona Ó Gallchoir, English; Co-I Dr Máirín MacCarron, DH); the Bodleian Libraries (Oxford); and the National Library of Ireland (Dublin).
The project, which received total funding of £34,000 is jointly sponsored and funded by the Irish Research Council and the Arts and Humanities Research Council (UK). Its aim is to explore and analyze the manuscript archives of the celebrated author Maria Edgeworth (1768-1849) and the Edgeworth family, currently divided between the Bodleian Libraries, Oxford and the National Library of Ireland. The DEN focuses on establishing collaborations between disciplines, between institutions, and between researchers and the community in order to establish optimal approaches to the application of digital tools and methods to this manuscript archive in order to unlock and enhance its potential for scholarly research and for cultural and heritage tourism in Edgeworthstown, Co. Longford. The activities funded by the award will also contribute to the development of a 5-year funding bid focused on a major project of digital remediation and analysis of the Edgeworth archive.
This collaborative digital network project responds to the scope of the Edgeworth papers, taking an interdisciplinary approach that can in the future be scaled up via an open access digital resource for the use of scholars in history, literature and politics. Its public and knowledge engagement activities have been designed to promote community and creative engagement with the resources, focusing on understanding better the global connectedness of Maria and her family in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. This work will provide the basis for exploring the future use of digital technology to bring archival images and information to life, enabling rich heritage experiences, as well as the wider dissemination of new scholarly understanding.
The project which runs from 1 August 2020 to 31 November 2021 also supports a Research Assistantship co-funded through the generous contribution of a Fell Fund award (£7485). Dr Anna Senkiw took up the post on 1 August 2020.
Those who want to know more about research into the Edgeworth papers at the Bodleian led by Professor Ballaster can consult our twitter feed, blog posts and materials on the English Faculty Open Educational Resource Great Writers Inspire.