The Marianne Moore Digital Archive Notebooks Project makes digital reproductions and transcriptions of Marianne Moore’s notebooks readily accessible to scholarly, classroom, and non-academic readers for the first time. The transcriptions are supported by annotations contextualizing Moore’s writing and life, including citations to the original source texts she invokes, and an image-text linking feature that makes it easy to move back and forth between the facsimile and the transcription. The digital editions of the notebooks are supported by a growing collection of related materials, such as indexes, a glossary, an interactive timeline of Moore's life and publications, searchable reproductions of the now hard-to-find Marianne Moore Newsletter, and, eventually, integrated text and image search tools. This site will, we hope, revolutionize criticism on this significant poet; contribute to popular understanding of the modernist period’s history and culture; and develop new tools for the digital editing and publication of handwritten materials. Learn more about the project team on the People page.
Moore’s notebooks offer extraordinary challenges for editors and digital designers because they include multiple genres, images (Moore frequently sketched objects that interested her), genetic layers of text (evidence of Moore’s later editing of and additions to earlier notes, sometimes with different writing implements), and references to decades’ worth of popular and academic source materials. Fully edited and annotated, Moore's notebooks suggest the deep cultural genesis of her poems: Moore’s notebooks constitute not nearly finished drafts of poems and essays (that is, pre-publication texts) but, instead, a rich and varied collection of notes and compilations from which Moore drew the materials that went into her drafts and published work. Part commonplace book, part scrapbook, part sketchbook, part diary, each of Moore’s notebooks offers an extraordinary window into the eclectic print and visual culture of the twentieth century and the ways in which one of America’s most innovative poets responded to her world. Learn more about the notebooks on the "About" page for The Notebooks.
The Notebooks Project addresses the special challenges and opportunities presented by these documents through diplomatic transcriptions and limited (largely bibliographic and historical) annotation. It makes available an unparalleled record of a major modernist figure’s reading, thinking, citation, and composition processes. As each notebook is published, it will be accompanied by an editor's introduction that discusses the special textual or bibliographic features of that particular notebook as well as the historical, literary, and cultural significance of its contents. View the Introduction to the first published notebook, Conversation Notebook VII.03.11 (1926-1940).
The Notebooks Project also employs new intelligent tools, developed for this project, with which researchers in the humanities can interact with handwritten historical documents online. The MMDA uses a customized version of EVT version 1.0 to publish digital editions of the Notebooks, as well as the base for a suite of in-browser manuscript editing tools being developed at the University at Buffalo to address the needs of the site's editorial team and its users. When completed, the MMDA hopes to make this integrated, open source platform for the production and publication of transcribed and annotated manuscript material available to other users of the EVT and the digital scholarly editing community. Through the collaboration of scholars in English, Computer Science and Engineering, and the Center for Unified Biometrics and Sensors (CUBS) at the University at Buffalo, we aim to create a complete editorial workflow solution for transcription and annotation of manuscript collections.