‘Odour of Chrysanthemums’: The digitisation of D.H. Lawrence manuscripts and papers
The digitisation of manuscripts and papers relating to D.H. Lawrence’s short story with supporting pedagogic materials for textual, historical and critical study
This project had two elements. First, it involved the digitisation of materials concerning D.H. Lawrence’s short story ‘Odour of Chrysanthemums’ held in the Special Collections of the University of Nottingham’s Hallward Library. These materials include the extensively emended first proof copy of the first published version of the story; a second manuscript of the story, also with extensive autograph amendments; a number of letters relating to the writing and publication of the work; and a full transcription of the text and its variants. A primary objective was to design an interface to allow the various versions to be viewed together, and thus to be compared closely. The second element of the project entailed the design and launch of a website to house the variant texts and provide online teaching and learning resources to support, frame and disseminate the the Lawrence texts and methods for their interpretation. These resources are aimed at A-Level students and teachers, university and postgraduate students and lecturers, and the general reader. You can read more about the life of the project in ‘Odour of Chrysanthemums: a text in process‘ published in Wordplay magazine, April 2010.
‘Odour of Chrysanthemums’ is a popular story, with a substantial body of secondary critical and contextual materials. It is a widely taught, ‘canonical’ text, formally and historically significant, with an accessible, interesting and illuminating textual history. The existing D.H. Lawrence pages at the University of Nottingham are already amongst the most popular, and there is considerable demand for access to further holdings in this field. Our aim with this project has been to enable and encourage more sophisticated and informed readings of ‘Odour of Chrysanthemums’ at all levels and contexts.
The Odour of Chrysanthemums website is up and running (http://odour.nottingham.ac.uk) and contains publicly available web resources including the digitised texts and variants, teaching and learning materials and essays by experts on Lawrence criticism. The site is designed to benefit not only the community of D.H. Lawrence scholars and enthusiasts, but also students and teachers at all levels with an interest in Lawrence’s work. A distinctive aspect of the project is the framing of materials concerned specifically with aspects of textual and editorial scholarship, which extends the benefits of the site into the domain of training for research skills and methodologies. The site also includes
- Questions to guide reading and seminar/classroom work
- Tasks which explore Lawrence’s use of dialect in the story
- An introduction to the research area of genetic criticism
- Bibliographical information for primary and secondary sources;
- Essays, notes and miscellaneous pieces relating to ‘Odour of Chrysanthemums’ (some extant, others have been commissioned);
- Links to relevant resources and further materials.
The website is a free-standing area associated with the D.H. Lawrence Research Centre and the School of English and is a part of the extensive, existing D.H. Lawrence online resources at Nottingham University.
Dr Sean Matthews
School of English
University of Nottingham