I'm beginning to work out the structure for the tables in the database for the Victorian Poetry database.
The primary unit in this database appears to be a published-poem.
Each published-poem has a relationship to a poem and to a periodical. Each poem has a relationship to an author.
There are some questions that I need MT to answer before I can continue.
1) Will there be any instances of a poem having more than one author?
2) Do we distinguish between a poem with no author and poem whose author is anonymous?
3) Do we have one anonymous author associated with all unattributed to poems, or do some unattributed poems get associated with one "anonymous" and other unattributed poems get associated with another "anonymous" (for example, if you have a collection of poems you know to be written by one unknown person and wish to distinguish that author from another unknown person who wrote another poem)
4) We've noted that authorship can be declared or can be inferred by the scholar, are there any other ways authorship is attributed? (We'll need to include a "authorship_determined_by" field to contain that information.)
5) We need to tighten up conventions on what information we capture about each person's name (and possible title or other identifiers) and how each of those is to be represented in the spreadsheet. The most common presentation of author name is Surname, FirstName, but a number of entries don't conform, for example these from DarkBlue.xls:
the late John Lyall
Leary (D.C.L.), T.H.L.
And these from DublinU:
The London Hermit
Rev. Dr. MacMoreland
And these from PoetryIndex_1.docx
We discussed having an "author-as-found" field and an "author-normalized" field.
6) Do we separate author surnames from given names e.g. for purposes of searching?
7) We also need to tighten up conventions on what information we capture about each published poem's title and how each of those is to be represented in the spreadsheet. Some of the "titles" appear to be titles, others appear to be the first line of the poem. Do we want to distinguish between those?
8) These are instances of titles that appear to contain more than just the title. Do we need to do anything with these other than reproduce the characters as found?
Tragedy (trans. from the German by Franz Huffer)
The Story of Europa (Hor. Od. III. Xxvii. 25.)
'Amour qui Sourit Caché'
One untitled poem opens and two close the author’s essay “Sketches of Travel in Germany”
9) This example of a title in DarkBlue appears to refer to a collection of poems.
Garden Poems (I.—The Garden, II.—Visions, III.—The Bird ...)
This example from DublinU also appears to refer to a collection, but is treated differently:
I [Happiest of happy feelings ‘tis to feel]
II [If gold could give us peace]
We have no structure right now for handling collections of poems. Should we? That is, do we want to treat an entire collection as one poem (what about collections whose poems are written by different authors) or do you want to treat each poem in a collection as a separate poem and then add a "collections" table and some way of relating each of the poems to the collection?
In the poetryindex_1 file, a typical entry begins like this:
No. 1, 129
Whereas, in DarkBlue the issue/page field looks like this:
1 (March 1871): 35
What does each piece of information in both types of entry identify? We'll need to normalize that.
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