Mission Statement

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Shakespeare and his contemporaries traversed London on foot. Early modern plays, pamphlets, histories, and poems assume intimate knowledge of the streets, alleys, and topography of the city. At The Map of Early Modern London (MoEML), our ongoing project is to map the spatial imaginary of Shakespeare’s city; we ask how London’s spaces and places were named, traversed, used, repurposed, and contested by various practitioners (Michel de Certeau’s term), writers, and civic officials. MoEML’s maps allow us to plot people, historical documents, literary works, and recent critical research onto topography and the built environment.
At the same time, we experiment with new digital modes of answering GeoHumanities questions. An early contributor to the spatial turn and literary geographic information systems (GIS), MoEML provides a virtual space for exploring the meaning and representation of cultural space in the London of Shakespeare and his contemporaries. We also experiment with new ways of working collaboratively as teams and across institutions and disciplines.

Our Audience and Contributors

MoEML is committed to providing complete, current, and reliable information that is both suitable for scholarly citation and accessible to students, teachers, and community members outside the university. We provide scholars, community experts, and senior students with a venue to publish peer-reviewed articles, encyclopedia entries, annotated bibliographies, finding aids, transcriptions, and editions.

Our Principles

Open Peer Review

MoEML is committed to new forms of peer review, including cross-reviewing (our own innovation) and research apprenticeships. We monitor developments in scholarly peer assessment techniques (such as peer-to-peer review and open peer review). We currently give our reviewers the choice of anonymity or full credit. All contributions go through a refereeing process. The MoEML team regularly makes links to new research, to extend the shelf life of our contributors’ work.


All of our pages are freely available to anyone with an internet connection and a web browser. We do not charge fees for access or restrict any aspect of our site’s functionality. We link to other open-access resources preferentially. Whenever possible, we supplement what is available from subscription databases by obtaining fresh scans of materials from institutions willing to share their resources with the world and making these scans freely available.


The MoEML team proudly makes all of its back-end data and markup available to the public. Curious readers can see any page in extensible markup language (XML) by clicking the See XML link in the top left-hand corner. With an extensive editorial style guide, detailed technical instructions in our Praxis documentation, and a unique refereeing process, the MoEML team strives to be the makers of manners (Shakespeare, Henry V 5.2.3259) when it comes to web citation, text encoding, and online scholarship.


We are an open-code project. Some of our code is deposited in GitHub. All of our TEI elements, attributes, and values are searchable via Programmer Martin Holmes’s CodeSharing Service.

Transparent Work Practices

We aim to be fully transparent about all MoEML work practices. Our extensive Praxis documentation gives detailed instructions to our team members. These instructions are openly published as a guide to how we work.


We give credit where credit is due, in keeping with the Collaborators’ Bill of Rights and A Student Collaborators’ Bill of Rights. We do not distinguish between paid and unpaid labour. In our view, all paid research assistants deserve credit for their critical input; by the same token, our paid RAs take intellectual responsibility for their work. We do not consider any labour to be mechanical; all labour is critical and worthy of acknowledgement.

Team Structure

Our team structure is heterarchical, verging as much as possible on holocratic. All team members are free to assume particular tasks and redefine their roles. All team members take responsibility for identifying gaps between how things are and how they could be. We then work together to realize the possibilities we envision. (See article by Jenstad and Takeda [forthcoming].)

Our Content

Creative Commons License

All of our content is licensed under a CC BY-SA 4.0 license, which gives anyone the right to download and repurpose our content and/or associated mark-up, provided the use is non-commercial and gives full credit to MoEML and its contributors.

Agas Map

Our edition of the Agas map offers a carefully edited map-like visualization of the city and environs onto which we have plotted many urban locations and topographic features. The built-in drawing tools allow users to generate custom maps and draw their own points, lines, and polygons on the map. Customized maps may be bookmarked and/or downloaded for non-commercial use in classrooms and scholarly presentations.


The Encyclopedia provides a number of interoperable resources: Placeography, Gazetteer, Personography, Orgography, Topics, Glossary, and Bibliography. The location essays in the Placeography, the heart of the Encyclopedia, call upon evidence from history, literature, geography, and archaeology to give a thick description of location, etymology, history, literary significance, archaeology, afterlife, and other issues as befits the location.


The Library offers diplomatic transcriptions and page images of texts that are crucial to our understanding of early modern literary London but are rarely anthologized or have never been edited at all. We are building the world’s first complete anthology of the Elizabethan and Jacobean mayoral shows.

John Stow’s Survey of London

We are working on the world’s first scholarly editions of the 1618 and 1633 Survey of London, and the first versioned edition of all four editions of the Survey (1598, 1603, 1618, and 1633). The 1598 text will be available in 2016.


Last modification: 2016-06-06 15:39:18 -0700 (Mon, 06 Jun 2016) (mholmes)
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MLA citation:

Jenstad, Janelle. “Mission Statement.” The Map of Early Modern London. Ed. Janelle Jenstad. Victoria: University of Victoria. Web. 15 January 2018. <http://mapoflondon.uvic.ca/mission_statement.htm>.

Chicago citation:

Jenstad, Janelle. n.d. “Mission Statement.” The Map of Early Modern London. Ed. Janelle Jenstad. Victoria: University of Victoria. Accessed January 15, 2018. http://mapoflondon.uvic.ca/mission_statement.htm.

APA citation:

Jenstad J. (n.d.). Mission Statement. In J. Jenstad (Ed.), The Map of Early Modern London. Retrieved January 15, 2018, from http://mapoflondon.uvic.ca/mission_statement.htm

TEI citation:

<bibl> <author><persName><surname>Jenstad</surname>, <forename>Janelle</forename></persName></author> (<date>n.d.</date>). <title level="a">Mission Statement</title>. In <editor><persName><forename>J.</forename> <surname>Jenstad</surname></persName></editor> (Ed.), <title level="m">The Map of Early Modern London</title>. Retrieved <date when="2018-01-15">January 15, 2018</date>, from <ref target="http://mapoflondon.uvic.ca/mission_statement.htm">http://mapoflondon.uvic.ca/mission_statement.htm</ref> </bibl>