The Forget-Me-Not Archive

This archive contains parts from British literary annuals ranging from the early to mid 1800’s, mostly between 1823-1835. There seems to be a lot of different genres in these literary annuals. Some of it is historical, some seem to be short stories, there are a few articles on art and music, and there were even a few comics. On the home page of the website, there is a large picture. You get to the archives by clicking on this picture. Once you enter the archive, there is a table of contents permanently on the left side of the screen, which you can use to navigate through the archive. The contents will show up on the right side of the screen.

The Werner/Voss article states that an archive “confers order on its contents and creates a system whereby an official record of the past may be preserved and transmitted intact.” This is a very good description of the forget-me-not archive. It preserves the contents of nineteenth century British literary annuals and lets anyone see them today, which otherwise might have been difficult to find. It also organizes the contents based on what literary annual it was originally in, and based on the year that the literary annual was published.

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2 thoughts on “The Forget-Me-Not Archive

  1. Visiting the Forget-Me-Not archive leaves me with a more dated feel when compared to more modern internet sites. This is not in itself a bad thing – the site is easily navigable. I particularly enjoyed the Index of Original Artists page (FMN Artists on the sidebar) which catalogs the art by artist, engraver if applicable, and date. I use the HoverZoom extension on Chrome, which means I can view the image by simply placing my cursor over the link to the image. This makes it very easy to go through the art quickly, and without dealing with closing tabs in my browser before going to the next work.

    I was reminded by the Werner/Voss’ quote of “‘archivists ultimate play a rather ambivalent role in Pound’s overall scheme of transmitting lost or suppressed cultural documents,’ all cultures must, finally, be indexed at some level.” Although the pieces are from between the years of 1823-1830, multiple cultures are represented in the subject matter of the art. For example, Prout’s pieces are of Italian architecture, while Westall, who also appears to have Romantic influences, seems to be more representative of English culture.

  2. The Forget-Me-Not archive felt very dated to me, just as ey1552 had mentioned. At first when I visited the site, all I could find where the pages on the archive itself and a few images of book covers. This reminded me of Werner and Voss’s quote, “the history of the archive … is, on the other hand, a history of loss.” However, after some more searching, I found the actual texts on the site. Only those determined or curious enough (or who understand the site better than I did) will get to see the textual contents of the archive, which leads to some loss for others who get lost.

    Going off Andrew’s point of how the archive makes hard-to-find documents easily accessible, the creator of the Forget-Me-Not archive, Katherine D. Harris, explains why she decided to make the archive digital and online. In her explanation, she says “these texts are difficult to find and are scattered throughout the collections” of multiple universities. By digitizing the texts, these otherwise rare and difficult to access texts become accessible almost anywhere by anyone. This calls back to Werner and Voss’s point that archives are becoming more digital and without boundaries.

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