A central objective of the project is to make Carcanet's archive more accessible - focusing particularly on the born-digital part of the collection.
Here is a short description:
Survival of the Weakest: Preserving and Analysing Born-Digital Records to Understand How Small Poetry Publishers Survive in the Global Marketplace
Despite its importance in the literary landscape, Carcanet Press has attracted little scholarly attention - in part because the largest part of its archive is closed to researchers. This archive, which comprises born-digital as well as analogue records, is held at the John Rylands Library (Manchester). The project will preserve and make accessible internationally-significant archival materials held in the uncatalogued part of the paper collection and in the digital collection (currently closed). The opening of rich archival materials will lead to the production of new knowledge on small poetry publishers and on the overall issue of born-digital records.
- Coinciding with the fiftieth anniversary of Carcanet, the project will offer unique insight into a publishing house central to the contemporary literary landscape.
- It will also provide a model to preserve and make born-digital records more accessible to researchers, in order to produce new knowledge. While we still have letters, manuscripts and other physical documents from the past centuries, we are in danger of losing digital documents created in the last decade. By fostering close collaborations between scholars and archivists, the project seeks to answer one of the most pressing challenges in the humanities and social sciences: the transition from print to digital.
This AHRC project builds on my British Academy Rising Star Engagement Award, “After the Digital Revolution: Bringing together archivists and scholars to preserve born-digital records and produce new knowledge.”