Derwentwater overlayed with map

Derwent Water map overlaying an illustration of the area.

In Googling the Victorians, Patrick Leary makes the point that despite countless doors being opened by the ever-changing and ever-expanding world of digital media, there are many doors simultaneously being closed off. By making so much media accessible online, Leary claims, the things that are not yet available, those that still require physical presence to access, are in danger of being lost and ignored. If these pieces are never digitized, then they will become obscure and have less chance of being studied. The added work required to access these works makes them undesirable when set against the comparative mountains of text that can be accessed online.

If one takes into account Leary’s stance when Lev Manovich asks  “how does the software we use influence what we express and imagine?” (B13), it is easy to see that we can only imagine what we are shown, and that we can only express what we know in the medium that is available to us.  If the software confines us, we are unlikely to go beyond those restrictions; instead settling for the space and information we are given. 

The purpose of this website, started for the final project of a 4th year English class, is to ensure that this particular work, Blacks Picturesque Guide of the English Lakes,  does not get lost in that aforementioned abyss of obcurity. The website contains information on the guide, the authors, and thoughts centered around digitization.  As well, the section titled the guide contains a link to the scanned book in its entirety in an easy to access and navigate gallery. The page titled Text contains the raw, plain text version of the book, which I hope to eventually correct and rid of inaccuracies. This website is aimed at students, or anyone with interest in  guides on the Lake District or Victorian digitization.

  • Patrick Leary, “Googling the Victorians” Journal of Victorian Literature 10.1 (2005): 72-86
  • Lev Manovich “The Algorithms of Our Lives” Chronicle of Higher Education (December 20, 2013): B10-B13

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