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Editing the Eartha M. M. White Collection 

 Closeup of Eartha M. M. White


Editing the Eartha M. M. White Collection is a project that engages UNF students, faculty and staff as archival researchers and digital editors. The project began within the framework of experimental course DIG3990 Introduction to Electronic Textual Editing in the summer of 2016, co-taught by Dr. Clayton McCarl of the Department of Languages, Literatures and Cultures, and Dr. Aisha Johnson-Jones, at that time the head of Special Collections and Archives at UNF’s Thomas G. Carpenter Library. The course was centered on the electronic edition of personal correspondence and other documents, held in Special Collections, related to Eartha M. M. White (1876–1974), founder of the Clara White Mission and a leader of Jacksonville’s African American community. Dr. Johnson-Jones, a specialist in African–American History, helped students to understand the biographical and social context in which these documents were produced. She likewise trained students on archival methods and procedures and instructed them on the proper handling of rare materials. Dr. McCarl led the students in the transcription, regularization and annotation of the documents, as well as their encoding in TEI–XML, the standard today for creating digital texts in the Humanities. As transcribers, editors and annotators, the students took on a variety of roles in this course. This initial phase of the project is documented in the article “Editing the Eartha M.M. White Collection: An Experiment in Engaging Students in Archival Research and Editorial Practice,” The Journal of Academic Librarianship 44 (2018), 527-537. The documents that the students edited in Summer 2016 are available online, along with the project documentation we developed together throughout the semester.


workshop series in the spring of 2018 continued the work started in the summer of 2016. An article examining the model we have developed for such workshops is currently under review.


In June 2018 we published a preliminary introduction to the output of this project, titled An Interactive Edition of Selected Materials from the Eartha M.M. White Collection. This document details our editorial approach and includes an index with links to all documents edited to date.

Faculty Project Leader

Clayton-McCarlDr. Clayton McCarl is the interim chair of the UNF Digital Humanities Initiative and the director of the UNF International Studies Program. He is an associate professor of Spanish in the Department of Languages, Literatures and Cultures. His research involves the electronic edition of manuscript and rare print books dealing with the Spanish maritime world in the sixteenth, seventeenth, and eighteenth centuries.