The Digital Page


imageThe Digital Page is a digital edition of the writings of P.K. Page and of the visual art she created under her married name P.K. Irwin, employing an open source text-image tool, the Digital Page Reader, created especially for this project.

P.K. Page’s career as a writer and visual artist extended over some eight decades, from 1932, which saw her first known publication, to 2010, the year of her death, in which she published six books. Throughout these years, she produced some of the most admired and beloved poems in Canadian literature—and many fine works in the genres of fiction, children’s stories, non-fiction, and travel writing, as well as a voluminous correspondence. In the second half of her career she also produced a substantial body of visual art, which has only recently come to be recognized for its own excellence as well as for the light it throws on her writing.

The Digital Page Reader allows the user to view transcriptions of all versions of Page’s texts side-by-side with images of the documents on which the transcriptions are based. Where these documents show evidence of Page’s revisions, the revisions are presented in a clear and concise manner, avoiding esoteric symbols and abbreviations, and each point in the transcription is linked to the equivalent point in the document image. In other words, at each point, the reader can check the map against the territory. Page’s visual art will be presented with a slightly modified version of this text-image tool.

The Digital Page Reader will also enable the reader to trace the genesis of any work from its very beginnings through to its various forms of publication, using “revision points.” That is, it will be possible, at any point in any version of a work, to call up all variant readings that occur at the equivalent point in other versions of the work, without the highly abbreviated, cryptic presentation associated with traditional print-based textual apparatuses.

At the heart of The Digital Page will be a timeline based on Sandra Djwa’s biography of Page, Journey with No Maps. The many thousands of separate items included in the edition (poems, letters, paintings, etc.) will each be linked to this timeline. In other words, from any individual item it will be possible to go directly to the relevant date on the timeline; and from any date on the timeline it will be possible to go directly to any item associated with that date. The timeline will also be linked to numerous photos, videos, and audio files relevant to Page’s work and milieu. This will enable the user to more thoroughly grasp the genesis of Page’s career as a whole and the social context in which this genesis is embedded.

General Editors: Sandra Djwa (Simon Fraser University) and Zailig Pollock (Trent University)