I’ve read through my stories, and I am really starting to understand the goal of the Federal Writers Project. These stories give me insight into the worlds of those I would never otherwise encounter. The Federal Writers Project tries to fight back against the marginalization of certain people’s histories. However, in order to maintain the integrity of this goal, our mark ups cannot attach the biases that we want to try and escape. So, we are inevitably going to face problems when we are forced to make decisions about metadata.
The problems we talked about in class will be relevant to all of my stories. Some of these are edits, dialect, name-changes, and handwritten notes. I saw all of these and more. One thing I noticed in particular, which I brought up briefly on Wednesday, is that editors of my stories have designated their stories’ quality. They’ve written it across the top in pencil. My concern is that including their designation will associate the story with a level of quality that has been decided by one person. For instance, if you search “Good North Carolina Federal Writers Project Stories”, you might be directed to a story based on the opinion of one editor.
Another issue I foresee is how to explain edits on the markup. Should we make the edits that the editors intended, or keep the original version and note that edits have been made. What about words that have been completely blacked out with pen? Sometimes I can read the words that have been crossed out and other times they are completely marked out. Sometimes I can only tell what the original word was if I read through the paper from its opposite side. What is most important: the original or the editor’s version?
Finally, there will be the issue of the changed names. We briefly discussed that there are certain year/death regulations that surround this issue. Either way, I think we will definitely have to come up with a standard, since many of us encountered this issue in our stories. In fact, we will need to come up with a standard that explains all of these issues, so that we avoid injecting our biases and opinions into the personal histories of those people we know nothing about.