Mobilizing Student Scholarship for The Map of Early Modern London

The Map of Early Modern London has been driven by student research and student researchers since its inception as an intranet site in 1999. MoEML, a digital atlas of Shakespeare’s London based on a bird’s-eye map of the city, was made available on the internet in 2006, attracting since then about 400,000 hits per month. My graduate and undergraduate courses on the literature of early modern London invite students to design projects and short essays suitable for publication on MoEML. As research assistants, technical assistants, and contributors, students have encoded; designed databases; undertaken primary and secondary research for encyclopaedia-style articles on London streets, sites, and cultural activities; collated primary texts; built concordances; transcribed and annotated early printed texts; added to the site bibliography; augmented the site personography; and determined the precise location of sites and boundaries. Working collaboratively with me or with their peers, students learn to deploy their expertise in the digital environment. They take ownership of their projects in extraordinary ways because of the public nature of the project.

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