John Keats, from a portrait by Joseph Severn

The Keats Library

The Keats Library is a digital humanities project launched by Daniel Johnson (University of Notre Dame Libraries), Greg Kucich (University of Notre Dame, English Department), and Beth Lau (CSU-Long Beach, English Department, Emerita) in July 2018, with the initial goal of producing a scholarly edition of John Keats's heavily annotated copy of Paradise Lost. Dr. Lau, in her 1998 print edition of Keats's Paradise Lost outlined the challenges of producing a physical book of this nature — the economics of academic publishing would allow a reconstruction only of those lines Keats annotated, not the entirety of the poem. Readers hoping to take in the full context of Keats's markings would need to juggle a second, full copy of the Paradise Lost. The digital environment eliminates this cost/size barrier, and thanks to helpful collaboration with the Keats House, we were able to obtain high resolution page scans of the original volumes, to display side by side with the transcription and encoding.

We are assessing avenues of further research in digital marginalia studies. It is rich territory for scholarly exploration, and the digital humanities communities could do much to build further infrastructure for supporting it. We hope the TEI-XML encoding of Keats's Paradise Lost is a helpful contribution in that effort.