Mapping Mr. Gray

This assignment had us mapping the various locations in which a particular book was published. We used the English Short Title Catalogue to find publications of the book of our choice, which ideally had to be published sometime in the 18th century. While we could have used any 18th century book that the ESTC could find for this assignment, I was curious about one book from my college library’s Special Collections in particular: The Poems of Mr. Gray by Thomas Gray. This collection of poems written by “eighteenth-century poet, letter-writer, and scholar Thomas Gray (1716-1771).” Milne Library’s version was published in Dublin in 1775 and is part of the Rare section of the Special Collections. As my nifty, (mockingly) simple(-looking) map shows, this book was published in three different cities total: Dublin, London, and York.

I have mixed feelings about this section of the course. We are being introduced to different types of technology with the intent to give us a more expansive digital toolbox with which to build our final project. On one hand, this is completely necessary to create an interesting and worthwhile project, while on the other, it is slowly turning me into a computer gremlin. Figuring out this assignment had me sitting and staring at my increasingly harsh computer screen (for much longer than I probably should’ve had to), daylight slipping quickly away from me before my next real-world experience was realizing my room had gone pitch black and I emerged from this cave as a wild-eyed creature mumbling “geocode” nonsense at my concerned roommates.

I guess that’s just the nature of the beast.


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