Keele academic secures grant to digitise famous literary collection

A Keele academic has been awarded $45,000 by the National Endowment for the Humanities for a collaborative project with the Rare Book and Manuscript Library at the University of Pennsylvania.

Dr Rebecca Bowler from Keele University will be digitising the papers of novelist May Sinclair. The project will develop a framework to digitise publications of several of Sinclair’s works, opening up the archive for scholars and interested readers who can’t get to Philadelphia to look at the manuscripts in person.

Dr Bowler is co-founder of the May Sinclair Society, and General Editor of the Edinburgh Critical Editions of the Works of May Sinclair, which will both be collaborating on the project with the Rare Book and Manuscript Library in Pennsylvania.

The team will also produce a digital edition of one of May Sinclair’s short stories, and publish this online as an innovative, open access resource.

Sinclair was an innovative and influential modernist novelist whose novels gained international praise and huge popularity in her lifetime. Sinclair was also the first critic to use the phrase “stream of consciousness” as a literary descriptor in her review of Dorothy Richardson’s Pilgrimage.

The National Endowment for the Humanities is a federal agency of the US Government which is dedicated to supporting research, education, preservation, and public programmes in the humanities.

Dr Bowler will be travelling to Philadelphia in 2020 to work on the project and facilitate a number of collaborative meetings where the team will work towards developing the framework.