Digital Labour: Making Illustration Archives

Réalisation : 25 octobre 2019 Mise en ligne : 25 octobre 2019
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Julia Thomas is a Professor of English Literature at Cardiff University, with specific interests and expertise in Victorian visual and material culture, word and image studies, and digital humanities. These areas have come together in his work to develop the growing field of Illustration Studies.


Thenineteenth-century wood engraver and the twenty-first-centurydatabase developer share the objective of erasing their lines oflabour, with the aim of rendering their work and craftsmanshipinvisible. As facsimile copyists, engravers embarked on a labour thatthe art critic, John Ruskin, compared to slavery. Their job was tocopy the artist's drawing on the woodblock, carving out the lines oneither side of the drawn lines, leaving the part to be inked inrelief. A good engraving was one that was essentially invisible,where the artist's drawing was seen rather than the vehicle of itsreproduction. The work of the database and website developer alsogoes unseen. From the perspective of the user, the content appearsalmost by magic, at the click of a button. This paper will discussthe creation of two digital archives that attempted to go against thegrain and to make visible these lines of labour, revealing thework of wood engravers, illustrators, digital creators andcontributors: the Databaseof Mid-Victorian Illustration ( TheIllustration Archive (


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Citer cette ressource:
La forge numérique. (2019, 25 octobre). Digital Labour: Making Illustration Archives. [Vidéo]. Canal-U. (Consultée le 28 janvier 2022)

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