I’m writing to you today from beautiful Bruges, where I am presenting at the Sixteenth Century Society and Conference. (In fact, my presentation is in less than two hours.) This is my second presentation this week, as I also attended “’Life of the Muses’ day, their morning star!’: The Cultural Influence of Lucy Harington Russell, Countess of Bedford” in Oxford last week. In the process of preparing my papers, I pulled together some preliminary quantitative analysis based on the work the RECIRC team has done in the last two years, and since I’ve been talking about it nonstop for the last week, I thought it might be fun to share it here too.
So far, we’ve identified:
1,911 female authors (up from our 1,300 when we started) and
6,702 female-authored works. We’ve found
4,020 receptions of these authors and/or their works, in
1,354 different documents in libraries and archives worldwide.
For Work Package 3 specifically, Sajed and I have found:
317 transcriptions of female-authored works, after consulting
654 manuscripts including
203 miscellanies in
4 libraries on
2 continents, which, along with my conference travel, made it necessary for me to fly a carbon-footprint-exacerbating
39,892 miles — yikes!
In the miscellanies Sajed and I have consulted so far, we’ve already found
88 poems by
34 female poets witnessed in
120 transcriptions (just over one-third of the total transcriptions as of 12 July).
These numbers will, of course, change. In fact, since we’re still finding new material every day, they’ve probably already changed! But there’s something satisfying about seeing how much we’ve already accomplished. Keep an eye out for our upcoming publications and conference appearances to stay posted on our progress!
It’s kind of a bittersweet time to reflect on these things, as we’re saying goodbye (or rather, “See you later”) to three of our amazing colleagues. With that in mind, here are a few more numbers that probably won’t make it into any of our project outputs. The project has been running for
22 months now. In that time, we’ve given
54 conference presentations and published
7 books and articles (with lots more to come!) We’ve also had
4 Thanksgiving dinners (two Canadian and two American), celebrated
1 Burns Night and had
1 “Nuevo de Mayo” fiesta (which may not be Cinco de Mayo but totally beats Arrested Development‘s Cinco de Cuatro).
And even I, lover of data and spreadsheets that I am, will admit that there are things about our team that are harder to count and analyze: how much time we’ve spent together (in and out of the office), how much we’ve laughed, how many times one of us has gotten locked out of our office (a.k.a., “The Fishbowl”) or been scowled at by the postgrads nearby for making too much noise, how grateful I was when Wes arrived and there was another American around to understand my baseball metaphors and help me explain the Rhode Island accent to Mark.
We’re having our last official meeting as a full team on Wednesday, and while twenty-two months might not constitute an era in the long view, it certainly feels momentous for our team. We wish Emilie, Mark, and Wes all the best, and we hope you’ll do the same.