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Visualizing A Canadian Author Archive: Alice Munro

Research Project led by Murray McGillivray, Michael Ullyot, Jagoda Walny, and Jason Wiens

Visualizing A Canadian Author Archive: Alice Munro

This project is a collaboration between a multidisciplinary group of digital humanities and computer-science researchers to explore visualization possibilities in textual research. It focuses on a pilot project in collaboration with Libraries and Cultural Resources researchers that will produce peer-reviewed publications and will seed further grant opportunities, while demonstrating new modalities of collaboration between library and non-library researchers. The visualizations we produce will promote one of the library’s most significant archival assets, while offering researchers new insights into the significance of that fonds.

Our pilot project focuses on the Alice Munro collection in Archives and Special Collections: her correspondence with other writers, her readers, and her editors and agents as they negotiate revisions and publications of her work. Even before Munro’s 2013 Nobel Prize in Literature, the demand from international scholars to consult her papers was considerable; their research into her 14 story collections often focuses on her exchanges with the periodicals where many first appeared, such as “The New Yorker.” Our project will produce a range of visualizations that facilitate scholarly and public discovery of metadata in the collection, rather than the Munro papers themselves, which will remain restricted to those who consult them directly at the University of Calgary. We anticipate that our visualizations, exhibited online, will increase interest in and bring more researchers to the library to work on this important collection of papers.

From November 2018 through July 2019 this research project was supported by the Academic Research and University Libraries: Creating a New Model for Collaboration exploration funded by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.