The Victorian Plays Project consisted of a number of distinct phases: to produce an on-line catalogue of the Lacy's Acting Edition from the collections at the Birmingham Central Library; to generate e-texts in .pdf format that replicate the original texts re-edited for electronic usage; to create a database of plays marked up using TEI encoding in XML that will be searchable and enhance the research potential of the collection.
The main section of the Project represents the .pdf e-texts of a series of the plays from the collection. All of these e-texts have been created with fidelity to the original in mind and there have been no emendations to spelling or error in the original printed copy. Where these are identified, any errors or confusions have been clarified using Acrobat's notes system and a layer of editorial comment on the text has been provided. All original phonetic or dialect spellings have been retained.
The highest possible editorial standards and checking of texts has been employed to make these texts as faithful as possible. However, no editorial process can be 100% accurate and errors in the OCR process and editorial checking may still exist. If any scholars wish to check the accuracy of a text, original .tif files (photographic images from the scanning process) are held by the Birmingham Central Library and the Victorian Plays Project. Please contact us for information.
In their electronic format, as reproduced here, all plays are copyright the Victorian Plays Project (Director: Richard Pearson) at the National University of Ireland, Galway, Ireland, and the Birmingham Central Library, UK.
Play texts were digitally photographed and electronically reformatted by Digital Capture Solutions at Birmingham City University, using a Zeutschel Omniscan 9000 high-performance overhead scanning system.
Transcription of the Lacy's Catalogue, and editing and encoding of the texts was undertaken by the Victorian Plays Project using OxyGen TEI mark-up software and Acrobat Professional.
Various digital scan and OCR formats were experimented with during the pre-production and early months of the Project, in 2004 and 2005. In most cases, because of the relatively clean print of the original Victorian volumes, a simple 1-bit black and white scan provided a clear .tif image and good level of OCR conversion. This was the preferred option. Where a good reproduction could not be obtained (for example, if the ink on the verso of the page was too visible, or where the dramatis personae, scenery and performance information was printed in landscape vertically up the page), 8-bit grayscale or 24-bit colour was used. Illustrations included in the plays were reproduced in 24-bit colour.
(Professor Richard Pearson, Dr Kate Mattacks)