To be continued: The Australian Newspaper Fiction Database as literary history, digital infrastructure and public practice

17 Feb 2022 12.00 PM - 01.30 PM Alumni, Current Students, Industry/Academic Partners, Prospective Students, Public
Organised by:
Graham Matthews

In Australia in the 19th century, newspapers were the main source of fiction, local and imported. In the 21st century, the National Library of Australia's Trove database hosts the largest open-access, mass-digitized collection of historical newspapers internationally. This fortunate confluence of technological systems (19th-century newspapers and 21st-century mass-digitization) makes possible the discovery of a growing, transnational collection of over 25,000 publications of novels, novellas and short stories in early Australian newspapers. With reference to this expansive record of fiction in Australia and Australian fiction, this paper poses some questions relevant to historical, literary, and cultural research in the mass-digitised age including: What we can learn about literary history with large amounts of data? How can we create, and what does it mean to manage, substantial digital literary infrastructure? And how can we open this infrastructure up to the public, for crowdsourcing, and to create new publics for and participants in literary history?

About the Speaker:

Katherine Bode is Professor of literary and textual studies at the Australian National University, and an Australian Research Council Future Fellow from 2018 to 2022. She is the author or co-editor of books including A World of Fiction: Digital Collections and the Future of Literary History (2018), Advancing Digital Humanities: Research, Methods, Theories (2014), Reading by Numbers: Recalibrating the Literary Field (2012) and Resourceful Reading: eResearch, the New Empiricism and Australian Literary Culture (2009).