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Preparing for what comes next

2013 January 14

I’m approaching a crossroads with the Tarlton Project. I’m perfectly content to continue on working on this on my own for the time-being while I figure out where I’ll be next. But in order for me to do serious research on the scale I envision, I need to identify priorities and focus on them individually. The scatter-shot approach isn’t going to work if I want this project to be taken seriously.

The two main areas of research in which I’ve been engaged to date and which I think have the most merit for short-range scholarship are the Queen’s Men mapping project and the Tarlton’s Jests digital edition (in particular, it’s potential as a collaborative tagging project.)

While it seems a bit counterintuitive, the other aspects of the project – the miscellany, the biographical top notes, etc., are really farther down the list.

As part of this dedication, I’ve decided to commit the Queen’s Men touring data to FileMaker Pro. I know it’s not the optimal database solution, but it’s a lot easier to work with than Excel, and I don’t have the mental bandwidth to put together a mySQL-based solution right now. What the FMP approach will afford – and which Excel never could – is a different way to look at the records I’ve been creating: both individually and in cross-section. From my initial experience with it, FMP appears to be flexible in terms of editing and adding fields. I hope that as I continue to dig into the information about given records, that I will be able to expand horizontally as well as vertically, and by what is absent as well as by what is present better identify potential areas for further inquiry.

On the tagging side, I’ve committed the first of the jest sections to Github. I’m hoping that while I’m in Connecticut I’ll be able to do some top line tagging on the City and Country jests and upload those as well. After beginning to work on the old-spelling of the ISE Henry VIII edition, I see that there is also value in preparing an original spelling version of the text. I’m not sure when I would do that, but it’s next on my list of priorities.

I have to plan how to move ahead in terms of applying for grants and fellowships. At this point either a fellowship or grant-funding would enable me to do some better research both in terms of accessing documents (BL) and doing some field work for the mapping project. Of course ultimate objective is to house this work in a department somewhere, hopefully with research assistant support.

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