History of EMPOP

At the Folger Shakespeare Library’s 2017 conference celebrating the library’s “Early Modern Manuscripts Online” project (EMMO), the Curator of Manuscripts, Heather Wolfe, called for other groups of manuscript scholars, organized on the model of EMROC: the “Early Modern Recipes Online Collective.” She suggested, in particular, a group that would focus on poetical manuscripts. At the end of the conference, on Heather’s rooftop patio, Garth Bond came up with the perfect name for a group that would complement EMROC by focusing on another genre: EMPOP, the Early Modern Poetry Online Project. In the summer of 2018, the co-founders began sharing their scholarship, in draft, in the first ever EMPOP videos.

The first EMPOP transcribathon took place on 25 October, 2018. Or rather, it took several places. The event began at 10:00 in the morning at Cambridge University Library (thanks to Suzanne Paul) and 11:00 at l’Università della Valle d’Aosta (for the paleography students of Carlo Bajetta and Ileana Sasu). At noon, the National University of Ireland Galway joined the effort (under the direction of Erin McCarthy). Others elsewhere participated as their schedules allowed (including V.a.339 expert Angus Vine at the University of Stirling). At 9:00 on the east coast, the Folger Shakespeare Library opened its doors to participants (thank you, Heather Wolfe and Liza Blake, especially). From 11:00 to 1:00, Lander College for Women in New York City did the same (coordinated by Matt Zarnowiecki). Elsewhere on the east coast, transcribers joined at Northern Virginia Community College (Faith Acker and students), Trinity College (Aileen Liu), and VCU (Joshua Eckhardt, Meghan Kern, and students). At 1:00 in Chicago, the John T. Richardson Library at DePaul University hosted transcribers, in the Scholars Lab (with the help of Megan Heffernan and Nora Gabor). Others pitched in from England to California. Thank you all, very much.

In April of 2019, EMPOP held its second transcribathon. Read about it via this link.