The Forget Me Not Literary Annual Logo

Forget Me Not Hypertextual Archive

An Edition from the Poetess Archive
Miami University at Ohio
Long-Term Goals  ||  Current Progress  ||  History

2003: Jan ~ April ~ May ~ Oct ~ Nov ~ Dec
2004: Jan ~ Feb ~ March ~ June ~ July ~ Aug ~ Sept
2005: Jan ~ May ~ Sept
2006: Jan ~

Long-Term Goals

This hypertextual archive is an open-access resource for all types of scholars and enthusiasts. As interest in the literary annuals grows, the need for just such an archive is becoming more apparent.  I expect to continue streamlining the technological aspects of the archive as well as adding content over the next 5 years.  The long-term goals of the project are as follows:

  • Add the 1831 volume: Brontė scholars have requested that I add the 1831 volume because of its importance to the Brontė family (they owned and copied from this volume);
    [Note: Full text of the 1831 has been scanned and awaits HTML encoding]
  • Add further text of poems and prose;
  • Add elements of the Forget Me Not 1832-1847 volumes;
    Note: all images acquired and all text transcribed]
  • Add the original paintings from which some of the engravings were drawn (see an example with the "Seventh Plague of Egypt," 1828 FMN); and
  • Add selected elements of other early literary annuals (e.g., Friendship's Offering or The Literary Souvenir)
    [Note: Full runs of the Literary Souvenir, Comic Annual and Friendship's Offering have been acquired and will be added as funding permits].

    Technology Improvements:
  • Set up a viewing space in which the poem can be witnessed alongside the engraving and the original painting, if available;
  • Re-structure the site without frames and with CSS;
  • Convert the entire site to XML with TEI encoding; and
    Note: begun in collaboration with the Poetess Archive]; and
  • Incorporate a search function which will accumulate information from the entire site as if it were a database.
    [Note: begun in collaboration with the Poetess Archive].


Current Progress

January 2006-August 2007:
The Forget Me Not Archive has been dormant this year because of major structural changes taking place within its umbrella project, the Poetess Archive, which is a NINES supported project.  Though it may look like the FMN Archive has not been active, it indeed has been:  We've begun transferring all of the text and images to the Poetess Archive and TEI-encoding the transcriptions that currently exist as HTML documents onlySince this transition is labor-intensive, this means that the addition of further text, images and volumes has been suspended, but only momentarily. This Spring, the entire contents of the 1831 volume were scanned as individual page images and are awaiting HTML or TEI encoding. In addition, the contents of the entire 1823 volume are in the process of being transcribed.  And, the preface, table of contents, table of embellishments, engravings, title pages, boards, inscription pages and other paratext have been scanned and transcribed for every volume of the remaining Forget Me Not (1831-1847) that is not already in the FMN Archive. However, none of these have been converted into viewable HTML pages as of yet.  As we work out the structure and content on the Poetess Archive, we will also work out the role that the Forget Me Not Archive will play.  These changes are being implemented not only to ensure the stability and longevity of the Archive, but also because the structure of the current Forget Me Not Archive cannot sustain full text of entire volumes.  TEI-encoding and XML documents are the best solutions to all of this -- even including bibliographic descriptions and price for each title. We envision that the final editorial practices of the Poetess Archive will enable us to put up the full text, images and physical representations of several major British and American literary annual titles. 

With this said, the current Forget Me Not Archive is still an extremely useful site which contains not only teasers for literary annual content but also contemporary reviews and general reflections on the British literary annual genre.  To further explore the scholarly and pedagogical potential of the Archive and literary annuals, I I will present papers on the literary annuals and uses of the Archive at the INCS International Conference in Durham UK and SHARP Conference in The Hague. The Forget Me Not Archive will be one of the projects discussed at the first workshop held by the Center for Digital Research in the Humanities, University of Nebraska-Lincoln in September 2006.  I will also attend the NASSR-NAVSA annual conference as well as the Digital Textual Studies at Texas A&M in the Fall. Laura Mandell will discuss the Poetess Archive and NINES' Collex Tool in a pre-conference workshop at the NASSR-NAVSA conference.


History of Site's Development

September-December 2005:

The Poetess Tradition (now Poetess Archive) has been accepted as an inaugural project with NINES and will be supported by Romantic Circles. Because the Forget Me Not Archive is a derivative of the Poetess project, it too will be published with these important entities.  The Archive will continue "living," with full text, engravings, bibliographical details and boards for all FMN volumes being added over the next 3 years pending funding.  In addition, further annual titles (using the FMN Archive as a template) will be added to the overall British Literary Annual Archive, including titles Friendship's Offering, Bijou, Comic Annual and Literary Souvenir.  In addition precursors (that Ackermann copied) and later 20th-century imitator volumes will be added to provide a context for the evolution (and eventual demise) of the literary annual genre.  Please send an email or leave a message on the Guestbook if you have any desires or if you use the Archive in your courses.

I am also converting my dissertation (awarded May 2005) into a monograph on the literary history of British annuals.  The two projects (the Archive and the monograph) will complement one another well if all comes to fruition.

May-August 2005
We have moved!  The Archive is now officially part of the Poetess Tradition at the Miami University, Ohio (Oxford). This new project will encompass not only the Forget Me Not literary annual, but any and all literary annuals available in the Harris, Feldman, Univ. Miami Collections and others.  The annuals will be scanned and available online using TEI standards as well as those required by NINES. I will continue adding some hyperlinked information, but until the Archive is upgraded to TEI standards throughout, content will slow to a trickle.

January-March 2005:
TECHNOLOGICAL ISSUE: Because Google, Lycos, Yahoo and other search engines have become so powerful, the pages within this site are appearing in searches without the essential (left) frame navigation. To combat this, I have included more meta-text keywords on the Index page and have inserted an Index Page link on every page within the archive.  Though a tedious task, I have not figured out how to force searches into the framed design -- a minor problem, but one worth noting in the evolution of this archive.

This Spring, the archive will be moved to University of Miami, Ohio (Oxford)
to fall under the umbrella of Laura Mandell's Poetess Archive for which I am one of the co-editors.     

September-December 2004
Leigh Hunt has been added to the Prominent Contributors list. I have added links to The Mirror of Literature in the General Reflections section; this periodical had a practice of excerpting various literary annuals for 1828 and 1829 with very little critical review.  A search of this source resident in the Gutenberg Project will find several other references to literary annuals.   

I have found several instances where engravers are denigrated by the early nineteenth-century artistic communities and accused of being "copyists" lacking imagination and originality.  But, the literary annual required such a large number of engravers that their artistic endeavors helped to bolster their artistic standing. To illustrate the industry required to render the tone, depth and colors of painting into line engravings, I have added the original painting by John Martin, "Seventh Plague of Egypt," which was rendered into a steel plate engraving for the 1828 Forget Me Not by Henry Le Keux, a prominent and prolific engraver who contributed many pieces to literary annuals. The painting and engraving are accessible through the transcript of the 1828 List of Embellishments as well as through the various indexes regarding engravings.

August 2004:
I have added some transcriptions of General Reflections (including excerpts from Alaric Watts' biography, comments on the Countess of Blessington and a history of Rudolf Ackermann's publishing house) and Periodical Reviews to contextualize the reception of literary annuals.  More reviews will be added as they are transcribed.  

In addition, I have expanded the Chronological Index of Titles.  Previously, the index listed annual titles through 1830 and only the number published during later years.  The index now lists titles published yearly through 1835, a critical turning point for the genre.

Late July 2004:
After reviewing The Gem (1829-32), a short-lived annual edited by Thomas Hood, I discovered evidence of an imposed morality. The short prose, "A Widow," published in the 1829 Gem is attributed to Charles Lamb.  However, Hood rejected Lamb's original poem, "The Gypsy's Malison," citing that it "would shock all mothers," and inserted this other work written by Hood himself (but assigned authorial credit to Lamb, perhaps for monetary reasons).  I have incorporated into the archive a letter from Lamb to B.W. Procter (writing as Barry Cornwall in the annuals) which includes the text of "The Gypsy's Malison," Lamb's sarcastic remarks about its rejection and "A Widow," the prose piece Hood substituted for Lamb's "Gypsy." 

I have also added to the following to the Prominent Contributors list: Hazlitt, Maria Edgeworth, Frederic Mansel Reynolds (editor of the Keepsake) and Walter Savage Landor.

June-July 2004:

Because of litigation settlements (completed in April 2004) between Sun Microsystems and Microsoft, Java (a program that allows/creates moving images) will no longer be included in Microsoft's Internet Explorer (beginning with version 6.0 which is currently available). I created this site using Microsoft's FrontPage web design program, which included Java elements in its design scheme.  Now that Java is not an included element in any of Microsoft's products, designs that I incorporated into this archive that are Java-dependent are unstable and inconsistent unless users download the JavaVM program from Sun Microsystem's website (free of charge).  However, since most users are wary about downloading new programs and because there is no pop-up window indicating that Java needs to be downloaded, I had no other recourse than to re-build certain elements of this archive, including:

  • Navigation buttons ("Top"): any button that changed colors when your mouse moved over it is a hover button and a Java-dependent element;
  • Transcript buttons:  all buttons on the individual pages for each FMN were Java-dependent elements; if these buttons are not active, users have no way to access the transcripts or grouped engraving images;
  • Header Graphic in right frame:  many pages included a bar at the top that was a re-design of the binding from a FMN volume; when user places the mouse over the bar, a swapped image appears -- that swapped image has been removed; and
  • Site Index:  Because this archive is vulnerable to the hems and haws of the technology industry, I have expanded the Site Index to include secondary levels of links (including access to the transcripts which would be otherwise inaccessible because these links do not appear in the Table of Contents).

This hypertextual archive will eventually be re-built using XML and TEI standards so that it is fully searchable. But that is a post-dissertation project and beyond my technical abilities now. 

My dissertation research has uncovered many other important contributors to the annuals; those contributors have been added either to Prominent Contributors (Charles Lamb, Bulwer-Lytton, Alaric A. Watts [ed. of Literary Souvenir]) or to the FMN Contributors (Countess of Blessington, because she contributed to later FMN volumes).

Under FMN Contents, three new indexes have been added:  Index of Engravers, Index of Engraving Titles and Index of Original Artists.  Each index includes the name of the original artist, the engraver, the title of the engraving and the FMN location of the engraving. Each engraving title has been linked to its image in addition to a link to the main page of the engraving's FMN volume. Also updated is the Editors and Publishers chart: editors names have been linked to their contributions in the annuals (under the chronological boundaries of this hypertext).

I have incorporated some "useful information" from the 1824 FMN: the chart listing the post masters and postal rates for various areas (388-89).  This is the last time this type of information appeared in the FMN. With Alaric Watts' introduction of the Literary Souvenir in 1825, this "useful information" and the blank memo pages disappeared and the annual evolved into a literary miscellany; later, the genre broke into sub-genres of landscape, comedy, juvenile, religious, musical and engraving-only annuals.

Poems added:
Two poems in the 1829 FMN are entitled "Constancy" and provide a verse illustration of the engraving, "Constancy."  Editor, Frederic Shoberl solicited both James Bird and Charles Swain (two prolific contributors to annuals) for a poetic illustration to accompany the engraving.  Breaking with tradition, he thought both poems touched on variant themes and thus printed both following the engraving (with a footnote inserted between the poems explaining this).

I have added Susannah Strickland's poem, "The Rover's Farewell to his Mistress," which was published in the 1829 FMNApparently, this author emigrated to Canada from England and has become part of the Canadian literary canon with her papers housed in the Canadian National Library. 

I have also added one Byron poem from the 1830 FMN entitled "To My Dear Mary Anne" -- apparently an early poem of questionable quality.

March-May 2004:
I have made minimal corrections, additions and/or changes to the archive since the last update. At the request of Tim Sauer, a John Galt bibliographer, I have added the transcript of John Galt's prose piece, "The Omen" (from the 1830 FMN, pages 99-105), which can be accessed from the Index of Prose Titles or from the transcript of the 1830 table of contents.  I have also added the text of 6 poems from the 1824, 1825 and 1829 volumes.  (Inclusion of these poems is based on their use in my dissertation.) Browse the Index of Poem Titles, the transcript of the Tables of Contents for 1824, 1825 and 1829 or the FMN Contributors index to find these verses.

February 2004

After the final February 4 updates went "live," I reminded scholars on the NASSR, SHARP and VICTORIA listserves of the archive's existence.  Subsequently, several scholars have browsed the site and suggested minor revisions to the content. Many of those revisions have been incorporated with the February 9 updates.  I thank those scholars who made suggestions, those who requested to use the archive in their courses and those who sent congratulations.    

The Index of Prose/Poem Titles has been updated with titles from the 1828-1830 volumes.  In addition, the determination of the missing pieces from my 1828 review copy has been solved; I visited the Pforzheimer Collection at the NYPL to verify that several pieces of writing were indeed poetry contributions to the 1828 volume. 

In an effort to provide a full context of the annuals' publishing phenomenon, I have created an Index of Prominent ("Canonical") Contributors to Annuals (other than the FMN).  Authors from both the Romantic and Victorian periods are included in this index to punctuate the longevity of the genre and the draw of established "literati" used to fill the pages.  (For lack of a better word, I resort to "canonical" as a marker of the authors who form the core of an introductory Romantic or Victorian course.) Included in this index are Wordsworth, Coleridge, Baillie, Barbauld, Shelley, Disraeli, Southey, Byron (posthumously), Dickens, E. Browning and R. Browning.   

All of the indexes have grown so large that I had to reduce the graphics on each page; those pages have a new look and organization in order to allow them to load faster. (The main alteration is the absence of the header bar on the index pages that, once clicked, transports the user back to the Index page [i.e., the entryway into the site]. Navigation back to the opening Index/entryway page can be achieved by clicking on "Main Entrance" at the top of the left frame.) 

In the continued name of brevity, the left frame ("Table of Contents") has been streamlined so that it is more readable (and lays within the frame with a less cluttered look).  A Site Index has been added and linked from the Index page (main entrance) for those users who cannot use frames format.  The Site Index is a simple table of first-level/primary pages, which means that any hyperlinks and/or pages embedded within that page have not been listed.   

January 2004:
Transcripts and facsimiles of the 1829 and 1830 volumes have been incorporated into the archive, which completes the chronological goals of the archive.  Initially, the goal was to include up to 1832.  However, I have found that the FMN's textual status changes with the 1830 volume and marks the overwhelming popularity and critical disdain of the entire genre.  (In the 1830 Preface, Shoberl confides to his reader that less poetry was included in that volume to assuage requests from the reading public.)  In addition, the literary annual genre subdivides in 1830 to include musical, religious, juvenile, etc.; the number of titles leapt from 25 in 1829 to 43 in 1830!  For these reasons, further exploration in the annuals of the 1830s will not garner any new evidence of the genre's initial popularity.  Therefore, this archive will, temporarily, conclude with the 1830 volume.     

I acquired an additional copy of the 1825 volume which has the original green paper boards and half slipcase intact.  In order to show the diversity in packaging of literary annuals, on the Facsimile & Transcripts page for the 1825 volume, I have included images of the boards from both copies (the paper boards & slipcase and the leather boards).  An interesting note is that the images on the paper boards and slipcase are different.  In all of the copies with the original paper boards that I have examined, the slipcase was usually covered with the same images as the boards for that year.  In this 1825 copy, the slipcase and boards show different images, which could indicate the production of multiple editions for the 1825 volume.  (Generally, it is cheaper to duplicate the boards' images for the slipcase; to produce an entirely new run with variant images would cost the publisher dearly for a new engraving.)

December 2003:
The 1828 volume of the Forget Me Not has been completed and is fully uploaded into the archive.  The titles from this volume still need to be incorporated into the Index of Prose and Poem Titles, which will be accomplished by the end of January 2004. 

November 2003:
The latest volume being added is the 1828 Forget Me Not.  Some of the engravings have been excised from the available copy being used. After completion of all volumes through 1830 in the archive, I will return and include these missing engravings from another research volume (most likely, the Pforzheimer Collection's copy, New York Public Library).  

As my dissertation research progresses, I am adding elements of that research to this archive.  The latest addition to the archive is Index of Publishers and Editors of all literary annuals published 1823-1830 (including some of the more popular titles published 1831-33). 

October 2003:
The 1823 volume has been included in the archive.  The publisher, Ackermann combined formats (almanac, pocket-book, literary miscellany, artwork) with this first publication, producing a volume that was literary, visually beautiful and useful. See the Table of Contents for a full list of this useful material.  In addition, I have included a transcript of the initial poem, "Poetical Address" with the 1823 volume.  (This begins an effort to include the poetry and prose of the annuals in this archive.)  

May 2003:
I have obtained digital images of the rare 1823 volume from Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library at Yale University and am adding those images, transcripts and engravings to the archive as well as updating all content indexes.

I have added an
Index of Poem Titles and an Index of Prose Titles
(including dramatic scenes) for the 1824-1827 volumes.  The titles are alphabetically arranged.  

As you can see from the title, the hypertextual archive will be expanded to include elements from the 1823 (FMN's first appearance) through 1830 when the genre's appearance and reception began to change -- especially with the publication of Thomas Hood's Comic Annual, which was a parody of the sentimental publications).  

April 2003: 
The archive has a new look to it that's much more conducive to the vast amount of information being added.  The main Table of Contents frame on the left side of the screen has been updated for easier access to all of this information.  Under Facsimiles & Transcripts, click on the Index of Volumes to access each volume via thumbnail images of the boards.  Or, click on the volume year to go directly to that volume's main page.    

I have added the engravings for the volumes 1824-1827 which can be viewed either individually by clicking the title in the transcript of the List of Plates or collectively as thumbnail images accessed from the button on the main page for each volume. I have also linked each image to its corresponding prose/poetry title in the transcript of each Table of Contents.  

In addition, after careful consideration, the Rationale has been abbreviated in order to protect my dissertation work against unintended "borrowing" by users.  Original scholarship, specifically, has been removed from the "live" hypertextual archive and has been incorporated into the chapters of my dissertation. (Read my dissertation abstract.)

January 2003
As my dissertation work progresses, I am adding to this hypertextual archive.  The current planned additions include the 1823 and 1828-1830 volumes, the engravings from the current volumes and newer volumes as well their accompanying poems.  With these additions, the archive is expected to include an updated scholarly introduction which includes the history of the Forget Me Not and more close readings of the poems published in this literary annual.


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