Mill Marginalia Online could not progress without the careful, creative, and dedicated work of its undergraduate and graduate Research Assistants. Brought on board in August of 2023, Reliance Enwerem has been alacritously processing data from my May 2022 visit to Somerville. About to shift from processing the over 5000 photos to transcribing their pixelated marginalia, Reliance offers a summative visualization and accompanying verbal explanation of the results still to come:
Cleaned using MS Excel, and then analyzed and visualized on PowerBI, these 5303 raw page images from 72 distinct titles (130 individual volumes) come from books written between 1800-1849 (3845 marginalia in pages) and 1750-1799 (530 marginalia in pages). Based on this data, I would say Mill found the works of Erasmus Darwin, Jonathan Swift, and Thomas Bruges Flower particularly significant.
Recent users of the site will have noticed changes to its functionality and visualizations. The latest update, undertaken with essential assistance from Tuscaloosa’s own local code ninja (thanks Shelbybark!), pushed the site to over 31,000 examples of marginalia and 20,000 associated page, author, and spine images. The sheer amount of data has begun to spawn errors and slowdowns indicative of a platform at the edge of its capacity and so I have, reluctantly, replaced the Author, Library, and Volume views with a pared down View Marginalia interface. You can now download the project metadata, manipulate it however you wish on your own machine, and then search for individual page images that are of interest (for file names, see column O). I have begun the lengthy process of applying for external funding to support the development of Mill Marginalia 3.0, which will, ideally, be able to support the roughly 20,000 examples of marginalia and associated 15,000 photos that have yet to be digitized.
In the meantime, work on the marginalia continues, with my most recent RA, Reliance Enwerem, hard at work on the May 2022 data, as you’ll soon see.