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User experience and access to born-digital data produced by publishers: The case of Carcanet Press

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posted on 2021-04-15, 10:33 authored by Lise JaillantLise Jaillant
This short report presents the work we have been doing to facilitate access to the archive of Carcanet, a leading poetry publisher in the UK. (Founded in 1969 by Michael Schmidt and Peter Jones, Carcanet moved from Oxford to Manchester in 1972. The press went on to build a diverse list, including poetry in translation and by neglected women poets. Among the distinguished writers associated with Carcanet are Elizabeth Jennings, Ted Hughes and many others.) It addresses two issues at the core of the “dark” archive situation: first, technical issues to make born-digital records available; and second, issues relating to the confidentiality or sensitivity of these documents. This work, funded my AHRC Leadership Fellowship (2018-2020), builds on an earlier project that aimed to bring together archivists and scholars, for which I received a British Academy Rising Star Engagement Award (2017-2018).1 After two years of discussions and collaborative work with archivists, I am convinced that we need to move fast (and avoid breaking things). Open data respectful of privacy is possible, and the first step is to quickly build prototypes to give access to archival records.



  • Social Sciences and Humanities


  • English

Published in

Books.Files: Preservation of Digital Assets in the Contemporary Publishing Industry


38 - 39


University of Maryland and the Book Industry Study Group


  • VoR (Version of Record)

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Main body of report © 2020 Matthew Kirschenbaum; sidebars © 2020 of author

Publisher statement

This is an Open Access Article. It is published by University of Maryland under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0) licence. Full details of this licence are available at: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/

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  • en


Matthew Kirschenbaum

Associated authors

Matthew Kirschenbaum


Dr Lise Jaillant. Deposit date: 12 April 2021

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