Clicking with Irving: Future Digital Archives Keep Me Moving

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President of the Washington Irving Society

Wednesday, May 6, 2020

During these past few months of quarantine, resources readily available to us online have become increasingly important. One of the reasons why I study Washington Irving–one reason I stay motivated–is the lack of high quality digital resources.

Author society work is important because we need better digital resources for Washington Irving in the future.

Oh, how I wish I’d put together some excellent electronic scholarly editions of Irving’s work! During this pandemic, I realize how valuable quality texts, readily available online, are to us all.

Washington Irving Society members have talked about a good Irving anthology, and we’ve even had panels, and I’ve given papers, on “Irving and the Archives,” yet here we are years later without much accomplished in this area.

Several years ago, I had undergraduate English majors working on electronic scholarly editions for the texts they were studying. I stopped doing the assignment because one too many students said they preferred a basic academic literary analysis. They thought it would be more useful to their future success.

The thoughts of recent grads, some who now teach, may have changed over the past few months, if their perspective hadn’t already shifted when they entered the work force. What my students this semester would have given for thoughtful critical editions produced by Baylor Bears who came before them!

It has been suggested to me several times that the Washington Irving website be a digital hub for Washington Irving research. We should provide digitized texts of his writing and scholarly electronic publications about his writing.


Any volunteers?

I’m teasing you. Well, sort of. I’ll start small today. I’m creating a link on this website called Digital Irving. May this link flourish into something meaningful as we realize the importance of an online presence for Washington Irving.

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CB picture 2019

Until next week, stay healthy! And please feel free to add to the conversation wherever you like: Twitter, Facebook, on this page. Comments are very much welcomed. If you need a reply, please message me at I try to respond to Washington Irving Society-related email on Wednesdays, and I also try to update the WIS page on Washington Irving Wednesdays. When the semester gets crazy, my responses might be pushed into the future, but I’ll probably respond on some Wednesday nevertheless.

Published in: on May 6, 2020 at 10:20 pm  Leave a Comment  

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