My plan from the beginning was to design an archive that
would meet the following criteria.
- Easily accessible to users.
- Easily downloaded texts.
- Readable on screen.
- Annotated for all readers throughout the world.
- Technically easy to develop.
- Minimal technical maintenance necessary.
- Simple and transparent organization.
Over the years, as a result of experience in part, but
mainly of technology and software changes, I have modified
how I have approached some of these criteria, and not all
parts of the archive reflect my changed approaches, as
many sections have not been revisited systematically in
I have stayed with the goals of easy access and
downloading, despite the eventual appearance in PDF format
of many of the texts I had already digitized as
text. There are few PDFs in this archive; almost
every primary text can be downloaded or copied and pasted
for easy quotation by scholars and students.
I no longer worry about on-screen readability because
readers can so easily modify the appearance on their
screens to suit their needs. Texts produced long ago
contain code to enlarge fonts, for example, but recent
texts do not.
I have probably been least consistent with annotation
choices. Some texts are very heavily annotated,
while others are more lightly treated, and there are a few
cases where there is little or no annotation. How
much attention I have given texts has been determined
largely by chance, such as whether I was using those texts
in pieces I was writing for print publication. In
general, however, I have tended to annotate more heavily
those texts that do not receive much attention from the
scholarly community, and to give less attention to texts,
such as The Country of the Pointed Firs
, which has
several scholarly editions in print.
When I work on annotation, I am fairly
consistent in trying to catch and explain those items
likely to puzzle younger and non-American readers.
The development of Wikipedia
also has changed my approach to modification. While
I am well aware that Wikipedia is not perfectly reliable,
it does provide a good starting point for explaining many
of the items I would annotate. As a result, more and
more, I offer minimal explanation and a Wikipedia link,
when there is a Wikipedia entry on the item.
The use of Wikipedia points to another
change I have made over the years. In the early
years of developing the site, almost any Internet link
could disappear at any time. Therefore, in my early
texts, I avoided using external links, keeping all
references internal to the site. This was part of
making my maintenance work minimal. But as the Internet
became more reliable and some websites, like Wikipedia
and Google Books
, as well as many academic sites,
became more or less permanent, I became more willing to
provide links to external sites that, in my judgment, were
likely to remain stable.
Though I have changed my approach to
annotation and the use of external links, I still have
clung to keeping technical work minimal. The few
times I have developed fairly complex presentations, using
frames, for example, I have sometimes regretted how
time-consuming developing and maintaining that portion
became. In the case of my edition of the Annie
Fields collection of Jewett letters, I eventually
abandoned a more complex presentation for a simpler
one. Perhaps the most complex presentation is of
Jewett's novel, The Tory Lover
, which I have not
yet been persuaded to change. There is so much
valuable information there, and the complexity makes it
easily viewable and accessible.
I have used two basic annotation
styles. For the fiction, poems and essays, I have
tried to serve general readers by providing anchors and
links within the text, to make it easy for readers to move
between the notes at the ends of documents and the
texts. In the letters and in a few other texts, I
have used asterisks within the texts to signal items for
which their are notes at the end of the document.
I decided at the beginning the my
directory structure would be simple as well, so that I
could easily find my way around within the archive. I
chose a system of initials and short titles that would put
all directories in "plain language" and would keep all
titles at 8 or fewer characters, and further, would
produce short file names. As a result, I can
identify nearly any item by looking at its name.
Because this works so well for me, I've assumed that
others would see this the same way. But I am assured
this may not be the case. Therefore, the next
section is an overview of the directory structure of the
Structure of the Archive -- Indexes
and the Directory
The Jewett Archive has general indexes and section
indexes. General indexes provide access to the
entire archive; section indexes typically are tables of
contents for individual books or of sections of
collections, such as in the chronological correspondence
collection, which is divided into years.
The main index for the entire archive is: http://www.public.coe.edu/~theller/soj/contents.htm
This page provides on one screen links to each main
section of the archive as well as to other main
indexes. It also provides a simple search routine --
instructions and a link for using Google Advanced Search
to search only within this archive.
The main section links mainly are kinds of texts by
Stories -- points to a list of links to
Jewett's short story collections.
Novels -- points to a list of links to
Poems -- points to a list of links to
Jewett's individual poems and collections of her poems.
Essays -- points to a list of links to
Jewett's individual essays.
Young Readers -- points to a list of
links to Jewett's writing for children.
Letters and Diaries -- points to a list
of links to lists of published and unpublished diaries and
Other Texts -- points to a list of
links to Jewett items that don't fall into the previous
Manuscripts -- links to texts that
exist only in manuscript, not otherwise published, as well
as to manuscripts of published texts.
I have tried to avoid overlaps.
Each Jewett text appears in only one of these categories,
unless I have made errors.
The remaining links are to other sub-indexes.
There are four main sub-indexes
1. Alphabetical List of Texts --
a list of links to individual works of Jewett, plus at the
end, to some other items related to Jewett.
2. Bibliography -- a
chronological list of all of Jewett's publications.
This list includes links to copies of these texts within
the archive and to PDFs outside the archive.
3. Literary Scholarship -- a
regularly updated chronological list of all known academic
writing about Jewett. Links to texts of these items
are provided when they are available. This section
is set up in frames, providing links to brief summaries of
the items that appear in the right frame. The
summaries usually are direct quotations from essays --
either thesis statements or conclusions. For longer
texts, the summaries often come from reviews.
A note on
this. I have learned in conversation that
non-academic users find this section confusing.
They do not easily understand what the summaries are and
how they may be used. I am not sure what to do
about this, except at this point to take note.
Clearly, I've thought of this index as mainly for
academic readers. Should it be rethought?
4. Biography -- a link to a list
of biographical texts by and about Jewett. All of these
texts are included in the archive, and links to them
appear in this index.
There are three other sub-indexes, and
my commitment to these has become less strong over time.
Annie Fields -- This link points to another index to a
small archive of the works of Annie Adams Fields. I
have done rather little work with this archive, aside from
making texts available, but it has proven useful to
users. It has been especially helpful to me in
identifying epigraphs in Jewett, as she fairly often
quotes from Fields.
Related Texts -- This link points to a list of texts that
I have collected and added while working on publications
and on background materials for some of Jewett's
texts. It is a grab-bag and not systematic.
I'm inclined to continue this section, odd as it is,
because I find this material quite interesting, and I
think it worth keeping it generally available.
Portraits -- This points to a list of links to images of
Jewett, her family, friends and associates. Before
the advent of Wikipedia
, this seemed an important
resource, especially to younger readers. Now images
of most of these people are easily accessible on the
Internet, usually at Wikipedia
. I have not been maintaining this
section for several years, and I am thinking of
eliminating it, except perhaps for a Jewett photo
I have organized what seems to me a simple directory
structure for storing the files of the archive.
It contains these sub-folders
1-graphics, which contains the graphics files for this
Folders for each of Jewett's
A Country Doctor - acd/
A Marsh Island - ami/
A White Heron - awh/
Betty Leicester - bls/
Country By-Ways - cbw/
The Country of the Pointed Firs - cpf/
Deephaven - dph/
The King of Folly Island - kfi/
Letters & Diaries - let/ (unusual in
containing published collections as well as manuscript
The Life of Nancy - lon/
The Mate of the Daylight - mod/
The Story of the Normans - indexed under Other Texts -
A Native of Winby - now/
Old Friends and New - ofn/
Play Days - pld/
Poems - poe/ (unusual
in containing individual poems from magazines as well as a
Strangers and Wayfarers - saw/
Tales of New England - tne/
The Queen's Twin - tqt/
The Tory Lover (two folders, one for the novel and one for
the Atlantic Monthly
Uncollected prose written for adults -
Uncollected prose written for children
There is one anomalous folder: translations.
I have not come to the ideal solution
for my decision to include translations in the
bibliography. On one hand, it seems useful to list
translations of Jewett's work. But, on the other,
European graduate students in recent years have begun
producing translations and asking me to link to
them. While it seems useful to inform readers that
these translations exist, the links have proven
problematic. As a result, I have been asking for
copies, storing them in the archive, and linking to the
local copies. This folder is the storage place for
these. Links to these texts appear only in the
Bibliography file: biblio.html.
Files of the home page in the main directory
This file: sojtp-documentation.html
Main contents page file - contents.htm
Alphabetical index file - m-index.htm
Chronological bibliography file - biblio.html
Page of links to story collections - story.html
Page of links to novels - novels.html
Page of links to writing for young readers - young.htm.
I note that as a regular user, I
hardly ever use the home page, and in several ways it
has become outdated. I am thinking about revising
Home page file - sj-index.htm
with supporting frames files
and with files the home page points to
For a number of Jewett's texts, I have collected multiple
texts, and for most of these I have made comparisons to
show changes she made from one to the next. Early in
the development of the project, I recorded these changes
in tables. Later, I shifted to presenting the
earlier text using colored fonts to show changes within
the presentation. Using colored text is technically
easier and less time-consuming, but both methods took more
time than I really wanted to give. I've not been
able to decide which I prefer. Perhaps there is a
simpler method available, such as software that does it
automatically? In all the time I put into this, I
found only a few alterations that were substantial or that
seemed to me seriously interesting. But anyone who
compares texts knows that it is difficult to predict what
will prove interesting in the long run,