On this page you will find a collection of my personal, professional, and course projects and papers that serve as pieces of my portfolio. These are intended to illustrate the skills I have acquired during my education and professional career.
MSIS Capstone Experience: “Letters from London: Processing and Digitizing a Collection of Seventeenth-century Newsletters” (May 2013)
As my MSIS professional “capstone” project I am processing and digitizing a collection of seventeenth century newsletters at the Harry Ransom Center. These primary source documents are an excellent witness of daily life and events in London as conveyed to their recipient, Sir Richard Bulstrode, in Brussels. My participation in the project is to survey and describe the manuscript letters, create rich metadata for each letter, oversee the digitization of the letters, and import them into the HRC’s ContentDM database and manage their publication to the HRC’s website. I have written a comprehensive overview of my project. You can also view the finished finding aid or browse some of the digitized letters.
Astronomical Data: Long Term Preservation for Re-analysis (May 2013)
For my Science Data Informatics course I wrote an essay on the long-term storage and reuse of astronomical data, specifically in the context of the Hubble Legacy Archive’s development and mission. I was interested in looking at the Hubble archive as an early adopter of best practices within the storage and reuse of astronomy data and the development of the Virtual Observatory system. I think this is a particularly strong area to research and write about because astronomy is such a contained discipline that it offers flexibility in adopting new standards for open data that can serve as exemplars for other disciplines. My final paper is available here. In addition, I created valid RDF semantic CiTO N3 (Turtle) files containing paper and citation metadata in compliance with CiTO standards.
Treatment Techniques for Bound Materials (January-May 2013)
The goal of this class is to teach “basic techniques for care and handling of bound materials including but not limited to sewing structure, minor mends, and enclosures.” Over the course of the class I completed a number of book repair projects including recasing, rebacking, and simple repairs such as hinge tightening. I compiled a manual of helpful resources, which is available here, and have collected photographs of some projects on Flickr, here. I also wrote two blog posts about the class: “Bookmaking: Part Two” and “Treatment Techniques for Bound Materials.”
Reference Collection Management in a Physics, Math & Astronomy (PMA) Library (May 2012)
The final assignment for my Collection Development class was to evaluate the current reference collection of the PMA Library and to assess its continuing contribution to the missions of the Physics, Mathematics and Astronomy departments. The primary focus of the project was to identify items that could be removed to the general collection and library storage in order to empty one shelf out for a new purpose. A secondary objective was to identify new online reference resources that could be linked to from the PMA Library website. In addition to analyzing the user population of the library, I also observed and interacted with users of the reference collection during my shifts at the library to engage with users’ perceived impressions of the collections. I suggested acquiring and linking to 24 new reference resources, and suggested weeding 67 total items from the collection. I presented a poster about this project at the UT School of Information’s open poster session on 4 May 2012. It is available here.
The Austin Ballet Theatre Records (Austin History Center, February-May 2012)
As part of my Introduction to Archival Enterprise course in Spring 2012, I was given the opportunity to work with another student at a local Austin archive on an archival records processing project. In a group of two students overseen by a full time archivist at the Austin History Center, I processed the records of the Austin Ballet Theatre. This included assessing the records and creating an Appraisal Report and Processing Plan as well as MARC and EAD finding aids. The final EAD finding aid is available online through the Texas Archival Resources Online site.
The Kraus Maps Database Project (Harry Ransom Center, August 2011-April 2012)
I had the great privilege to volunteer with a project at the Harry Ransom Center that completed a “boutique” digitization project. The Kraus Maps Collection features a wide range of individual maps of Europe and America, a few atlases, and a group of manuscript letters by Abraham Ortelius, as well as celestial and terrestrial globes by Vincenzo Coronelli and a 1541 Mercator globe. My participation in the project included standardizing the print and digital metadata and entering that into the database; making minor image edits to remove colour bars; and copyediting the text of the 1969 Catalogue 124: Monumenta Cartographica from the New York antiquarian dealer Hans P. Kraus for inclusion in the database as short “notes.” The final website for the digitized collection can be viewed here.
Exhibition Catalogue (INF 385T: Studies in the Book Arts, November 2011)
The goal of this assignment was to create an ideal exhibition on an area of interest related to the book arts discussed in class. My exhibition was titled “Libels and Declarations: Pamphlets and Printers of the Catholic League” and focused on the printing career of Didier Millot, a League partisan during the reign of King Henry III of France. I researched, wrote, and designed the final portfolio, which you can view here.
“‘Traytoures’ and ‘Treson’: the Language of Treason in the Works of Sir Thomas Malory” (October 2011)
My article,”‘Traytoures’ and ‘Treson’: the Language of Treason in the Works of Sir Thomas Malory” was published in 2011 in Arthurian Literature XXVIII. It examines the ways in which the French and English traditions of treason throughout the Middle Ages are reflected in Malory’s use of the vocabulary of treason By considering the Morte as a whole, I argue that Malory employs two distinct modes of the word ‘treason’ and I propose to call these modes ‘legal’ (where the use develops from the English traidition of the Treason Act of 1351) and ‘literary’ (where the mode develops from the French literary uses of the thirteenth century and on). It began as a paper for my course on Malory at the University of Oxford in March, 2008, and was refined through presentation at The 43rd International Congress on Medieval Studies in May, 2008 and the Sex, Blood and Malory conference at the University of Leicester in April, 2009.
Citation information: Fletcher, Lydia A. “‘Traytoures’ and ‘Treson’: the Language of Treason in the Works of Sir Thomas Malory.” Arthurian Literature XXVIII: Blood, Sex, Malory: Essays on the Morte Darthur. Ed. David Clark and Kate McClune. Cambridge (UK): Boydell & Brewer, 2011. 75-88. Print.
Description of an Early Modern Printed Book (INF 385T: Studies in the Book Arts, October 2011)
For this assignment, I was asked to engage in a detailed examination of an Early Modern printed book from the collections of the Harry Ransom Center. The book I examined was La vie et faits notables de Henry de Valois by Jean Boucher. My description included making careful notations about the book’s quiring structure and format, as well as researching and discussing its historical context and importance. You can read my report here.
Description of a Medieval/Renaissance Manuscript (INF 385T: Studies in the Book Arts, September 2011)
This assignment was to examine and describe a manuscript from the Harry Ranson Center Ranuzzi Collection. My manuscript was PH 12994, the Istoria ouuero Cronaca Di Casa Velluti by Donato Velluti. In my report, I suggest a new dating for the manuscript based on a re-evaluation of the paper’s watermarks, owner’s book plate, and my research into the personal history of the book’s first owner. You can read my report here.
National Public Health Week Exhibit (University of Texas Health Science Center, April 2011)
While serving as the Outreach Library Assistant for UTHSCSA, I created an exhibit for public display outside the UTHSCSA Briscoe Library on the public health programs offered at the UT Health Science Center. The 2011 National Public Health Week theme was “Safety is NO Accident,” and the focus of the week was on educating citizens about preventing injuries at home, at work, and in the community. The exhibit tied in with presentations and events discussing public health in San Antonio.
Creation of a Modern Medieval Manuscript (June-August, 2010)
In the summer of 2010 I enrolled in a papermaking and bookbinding course at the Southwest School of Art and Craft in San Antonio, TX, with the intention of making a replica medieval manuscript. My goals with the project were to experience the various steps of manuscript creation first-hand, to deepen my understand of paper-making, calligraphy, and bookbinding. You can read about the project in the archives of this blog, beginning with “An Experiment: Prelude.”
MSt Dissertation: “The Noble Hystorye of the Moost Renomed Kyng Arthur”: Malory’s Shaping and Caxton’s Re-shaping of the Morte Darthur
In the dissertation I submitted as part of my Master of Studies in English Literature at the University of Oxford, I argued that some of Caxton’s subtle changes to the text of Malory’s work and his recurrent insistence on labeling the Morte Darthur a “history” indicate a preoccupation with underscoring the importance of the book as a moral tool and justifying the printed book’s existence and connection to the other “chivalric series” books, Godefroy of Bologne and Charles the Grete.
MSt Palaeography Essay: Prince Edward’s Expedition and its Manuscripts, Bodleian Digby 166 and Rawlinson B.214
In this essay, I describe and discuss the two volumes containing the only witnesses of Walter of Peterborough’s poem Prince Edward’s Expedition and offer some opinions on the poem’s creation and reception.
BA Honors Dissertation: Patronage, Power, and Poetry: Lancaster and Literature, 1361-1399.
The purpose of this project was to define patronage as a system in late fourteenth-century England. I examined the relationship between John of Gaunt, Duke of Lancaster—arguably the most important magnate of the time—with several poets, theologians, and other writers. My paper argues that patronage in late fourteenth-century England was little more than a matter of exhibiting a magnate’s estate, and that John of Gaunt cultivated his patronage of Wycliffe and other writers, such as the poet Geoffrey Chaucer, in order to elevate himself to the level of a continental noble and be able to meet with the French lords on an equal footing to better support the aims of England at the negotiating table.