Monday, November 13, 2006

The Spectator Project
A Hypermedia Research Archive of Eighteenth-Century Periodicals

The Spectator Project is an interactive hypermedia environment for the study of The Tatler (1709-1711), The Spectator (1711-14), and the eighteenth-century periodical in general. The most innovative feature of the project developed out of the object of study itself. The format, style, and even the content of The Tatler and the Spectator were immediately and closely imitated in hundreds of periodicals in Europe and the Americas. The Spectator Project will allow users to compare imitated and imitating formats and passages of text through the means of hyperlinks. A footnote will appear, for example, in the text of Marivaux's Le Spectateur fran├žais or Eliza Haywood's The Female Spectator, and the user will click on it to bring up the passage in the Spectator that it derives from. While there are editions of eighteenth-century periodicals on-line and in CD-ROM format, none have linked multiple periodicals together for the purpose of studying their complex interrelation. While many scholarly web projects simply make their material more widely available--in itself, a laudable goal--this feature makes our project an interpretive editorial apparatus, and one which is based on the special capabilities of the digital environment.

Visit the Spectator Project Homepage here