Hang out online in Shakespeare’s ’hood


Tomorrow is the date traditionally observed as William Shakespeare’s birthdate. Born in 1564, he was famously described by one of his peers as a literary figure “for all time.” And now everyone can click on the University of Victoria’s Map of Early Modern London (MoEML) and virtually visit the taverns, markets and streets of the city Shakespeare would have first encountered. Freshly launched this year, MoEML proves the relevance of a 450-year-old woodcut map of London in today’s world, bringing it to life in a highly interactive, research-saturated, Google-style format.

MoEML project director Dr. Janelle Jenstad, associate professor in UVic’s Department of English and associate coordinating editor of UVic’s award-winning Internet Shakespeare Editions, says the research team approached the map “not as cartographers, but as textual scholars.”

MoEML offers the public—including grade-school students and teachers—a chance to delve into 16th-century London life, history and streetscapes. It provides hands-on learning opportunities for UVic students, from encoding, research, markup and copy editing to production of editorial style guides and training documents. Over 30 undergraduate and graduate students have worked on MoEML to date, most of whom are now working in digital humanities fields, publishing, teaching, programming, project management and web design.

The “original” 1561 map woodblocks are lost, but three 1633 copies survive. The UVic team worked with the London Metropolitan Archives to digitize their copy for MoEML.

UVic is a leader in the field of digital humanities. Its English language and literatures programs are ranked in the top 200 in the world by the QS Subject Rankings.

Major funding for MoEML was provided by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council and the Canada Foundation for Innovation, with principal support from the Humanities Computing and Media Centre at UVic.

UVic story about MoEML: http://bit.ly/1aSIiYx
UVic video of Dr. Jenstad on the project’s impact: https://youtu.be/klkLh76fOc8
MoEML blog: http://mapoflondon.uvic.ca/mdtParatextBlogPost.htm
Follow @MoEMLondon and on Facebook (The Map of Early Modern London).

Images available on
Dropbox; for credit, please note the Agas map is used by UVic for MoEML with the kind permission of the City of London, London Metropolitan Archives.

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Media contacts

Dr. Kim McLean-Fiander (Associate Director, MoEML) at 250-853-3878 or krdmf@uvic.ca

Tye Landels (Research Assistant, MoEML; BA Honours student, Dept. of English) at 250-216-5171 or tlandels@uvic.ca

Tara Sharpe (University Communications + Marketing) at 250-721-6248 or tksharpe@uvic.ca

Suzanne Ahearne (University Communications + Marketing) at 250-721-6139 or sahearne@uvic.ca

In this story

Keywords: Shakespeare, digital humanities, English, literature

People: Janelle Jenstad

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