George Whalley: Digital Humanities Research
Dr. Michael John Di Santo, Associate Professor, Department of English
Robin Isard, Assistant Librarian, Arthur A. Wishart Library, Algoma University
An introduction to George Whalley (1915-83), the eminent and accomplished Canadian man of letters, published at www.georgewhalley.ca is the product of a collaboration between Michael John DiSanto, Associate Professor, Department of English, and Robin Isard, eServices Librarian, Wishart Library. The website includes samples of Whalley’s prose and verse, recordings of Whalley reading his poems and G.M. Hopkins’ “The Wreck of the Deutschland.” It also has hitherto unseen photographs from his childhood to the last years of his life. A bibliography records the impressive range of books, essays, poems, CBC broadcasts, and other works he produced.
Published in August 2011, the website is the foundation for a digital edition of a selection of Whalley’s poetry manuscripts and typescripts and personal correspondence. This will be co-edited by Michael, Robin, and Alana Fletcher. The digital edition will be a counterpart to a print edition of Whalley’s collected poetry, which Michael will produce. The digital and print editions will be published simultaneously in 2015 to celebrate the centenary of Whalley’s birth.
Behind the site is a growing database of digitized materials collected together from the Queen’s University Archives, the Victoria University Archives, and private papers held by the Whalley family. Built in compliance with the Rules for Archival Description, the database includes digital images of unpublished letters and essays, photographs, and recordings, among other things. Robin modified the Shingwauk Residential Schools Centre’s / University Archives’ database, which he built, for this project. The database is the foundation for Michael’s work on a biography of Whalley and will be made publically available at a future date.
The work is funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council, Editing Modernism in Canada, the Northern Ontario Heritage Fund, Algoma University, and in-kind donations from the Queen’s University Archives and the Arthur A. Wishart Library (Algoma University).