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Reflections on illustrations: The Database of Mid-Victorian Wood-Engraved Illustration (DMVI)

Thomas, Julia ORCID: 2007. Reflections on illustrations: The Database of Mid-Victorian Wood-Engraved Illustration (DMVI). Journal of Illustration Studies , 37.

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This article is about reflections. Its main objective is to reflect on the methodologies and research implications of a pilot project, funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council, which culminated in the launch in January 2007 of the online Database of Mid-Victorian Wood-Engraved Illustration (DMVI).1 The database contains 868 images that accompanied literary texts published in or around 1862 and is fully searchable across bibliographic and iconographic fields. These search mechanisms, along with the variety of pictures included in DMVI, offer new ways of thinking about the genre of illustration which I shall explore here. Of course, the images in the database are not the same as the actual illustrations: they have been isolated from their textual sources and appear in a different medium, on a computer screen rather than in a book or magazine, and this determines how they are viewed and interpreted. But the digitised pictures could themselves be seen as reflections, (mirror) images that help to preserve and to render accessible in a digital form material from diverse collections and publications. Indeed, one of the principal aims of the project was to make these illustrations visible, to stress that Victorian literature is a hybrid form that combines text and image in complex ways, a factor frequently neglected in the publication of these texts today without the pictures that originally accompanied them.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: English, Communication and Philosophy
Subjects: N Fine Arts > NC Drawing Design Illustration
Z Bibliography. Library Science. Information Resources > ZA Information resources > ZA4450 Databases
Publisher: Centre for Editorial and Intertextual Research
Last Modified: 31 Oct 2022 09:14

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