Encoding an Underground Text in the Underground

As John Stow’s Survey of London (in all its editions) is traditionally a text to reference, not to work on exclusively, I’ve enjoyed encoding this early modern cult classic in a basement computing lab—an underground text in the underground. The HCMC is not all dark and gloomy, of course, but a basement is a basement. Victoria itself is not the sunniest city either, so many of us in the lab have found unique ways to reinvigorate our often overcast day to day in the dark arts of early modern encoding.
While trivial, and almost embarrassing to write a blog post about, the running joke in the lab is who has the most outrageous colour scheme in Oxygen, the primary xml software we use in the lab. What began as a circulated white on black scheme to change up the default black on white quickly evolved into any number of colours depending on the resilience of each lab member’s eyesight. Some of these colour combinations are not for the faint of heart. Below you can see the Smurf blue, chartreuse, copper, yellow, and florescent pink I use while working on Stow. Because the tagging is so dense in Survey, the bright colours became a way to read Stow while blocking out the xml. Stow’s text is blue, and everything just melts away once you acclimate to the scheme. Admittedly, not everyone in the lab is a fan, and I have an appointment scheduled with an optician next month.
The Smurf colour scheme for Oxygen.
The Smurf colour scheme for Oxygen.
Additionally, we compile the best encoding music each week during our team meeting. What also began as a joke, my tendency to listen to John Denver while encoding, became a way for all team members to share what really keeps them in the zone encoding various early modern texts. Naturally, as a Montana boy I listen to John Denver, but my music preferences remain eclectic at best. While I can listen to classic rock (Styx usually) as I encode dates, I need less-distracting classical music to concentrate on encoding toponyms. Perhaps eclectic—or even eccentric—is the best way to describe the scene in the lab at times. Team members huddled in front of glowing neon texts, tapping their feet in otherwise complete silence.


Cite this page

MLA citation

Phillips, Nathan. Encoding an Underground Text in the Underground. The Map of Early Modern London, Edition 7.0, edited by Janelle Jenstad, U of Victoria, 05 May 2022, mapoflondon.uvic.ca/edition/7.0/BLOG2.htm.

Chicago citation

Phillips, Nathan. Encoding an Underground Text in the Underground. The Map of Early Modern London, Edition 7.0. Ed. Janelle Jenstad. Victoria: University of Victoria. Accessed May 05, 2022. mapoflondon.uvic.ca/edition/7.0/BLOG2.htm.

APA citation

Phillips, N. 2022. Encoding an Underground Text in the Underground. In J. Jenstad (Ed), The Map of Early Modern London (Edition 7.0). Victoria: University of Victoria. Retrieved from https://mapoflondon.uvic.ca/editions/7.0/BLOG2.htm.

RIS file (for RefMan, RefWorks, EndNote etc.)

Provider: University of Victoria
Database: The Map of Early Modern London
Content: text/plain; charset="utf-8"

A1  - Phillips, Nathan
ED  - Jenstad, Janelle
T1  - Encoding an Underground Text in the Underground
T2  - The Map of Early Modern London
ET  - 7.0
PY  - 2022
DA  - 2022/05/05
CY  - Victoria
PB  - University of Victoria
LA  - English
UR  - https://mapoflondon.uvic.ca/edition/7.0/BLOG2.htm
UR  - https://mapoflondon.uvic.ca/edition/7.0/xml/standalone/BLOG2.xml
ER  - 

TEI citation

<bibl type="mla"><author><name ref="#PHIL6"><surname>Phillips</surname>, <forename>Nathan</forename></name></author>. <title level="a">Encoding an Underground Text in the Underground</title>. <title level="m">The Map of Early Modern London</title>, Edition <edition>7.0</edition>, edited by <editor><name ref="#JENS1"><forename>Janelle</forename> <surname>Jenstad</surname></name></editor>, <publisher>U of Victoria</publisher>, <date when="2022-05-05">05 May 2022</date>, <ref target="https://mapoflondon.uvic.ca/edition/7.0/BLOG2.htm">mapoflondon.uvic.ca/edition/7.0/BLOG2.htm</ref>.</bibl>