The Rossetti Archive

(The Rossetti Archive)

Visually, this archive is a bit minimalist in reference to it’s website. Most of the page is taken up by the background while the archive itself is placed to the left. Although it seems simple, the search is actually very extensive! The search can be very specific, down to the date. You can even search for a notable phrase that you may remember from a book or passage and the archive will search for that phrase. There is a tab showcasing what is actually archived there. For example, the archive contains not only poems and books but manuscripts and pictures too!

The archival aspects are obvious in the extensive ways to search for anything in the database. One thing that sticks out to me, however, is the bibliography tab. The tab contains a list of works that have been used and cited throughout the archive. This reminds me of what what said about bibliographies in the Werner/Voss work: “…can benefit from an expanded frame of reference. In the essay, Brown suggests ways in which bibliography and cultural studies may work together. In sum, the theoretical may help shape the material” (from page iv second paragraph). A bibliography may not be used in every situation, but it is significant for research that goes beyond the surface meaning. Without the bibliography, it would be impossible, or at least much more difficult, to trace information back to find it’s original source. The archive contains the information, but where did that information come from? With a bibliography, archives can split of the works it contains into different sources and authors. A bibliography is just a a sub archive of all of the works original sources!

(Group C)

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2 thoughts on “The Rossetti Archive

  1. The Rosetti Archive has some very good parts and some very bad parts. One of the good parts is how broad the search options are as BKWASHBURN stated. One can search specific dates, names, phrases, or genres. Also, as stated by BKWASHBURN, the background is enormous and very distracting from the rest of the site. The archive is very organized by the indices on the exhibits and objects tab. As stated before there is a very broad search engine and this can be overwhelming to someone. As I tried to search some random words a few of them didn’t bring back any matches and this made it seem like they were trying to keep you out. This reminded me of the Voss and Werner article that stated, “The archive preserves and reserves, protects and patrols, regulates and represses.”

  2. Both of these responses contain very valid points. For starters, as BKWASHBURN notes, the archive is very extensive and when it comes to searching this allows for very precise searching assuming one knows where to look. However this search can become overwhelming to many and make them feel as if they are being blocked entry into the secrets of this archive as pointed out by rlh002. These two contrasting ideas immediately reminded me of when Voss and Werner said, “the archive’s dream of perfect order is disturbed by the nightmare of its random, heterogeneous, and often unruly contents.” The unruly nature of this archive in that it contains multiple different mediums of work presents an issue when it come to search terms. Despite the best efforts of those who created this archive to make it orderly and easily navigable, the nature of the archive still overwhelms many who do not know what they need to be looking for.

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