Posted by: alinesoules | March 20, 2011

Biography 4

My sabbatical begins on March 28 and ends on June 19.

I gathered names of writers writing in English during the fall.  I intended to gather about 1,000 names, but names started to repeat at about 500, so I decided that I had gathered a suitably representative sample of authors studied in university courses, particularly at the undergraduate level.

The names were originally supplied by librarians in the Literatures in English Section of ACRL, but I have since referenced English professors’ lists of authors from their syllabi (plus their suggestions, in some cases).  See https://sites.google.com/site/biographyanalysis/ for a current list of names.

I chose only authors writing in English in order to set parameters for this project.  I will add a name or two if they emerge in the next couple of months, but will stop on May 31, as I need an “end point.”

I’m still deciding whether to include Shakespeare.  I searched Marlowe in my pilot project, but will probably add Shakespeare, even though there’s so much material and he is likely to be an “outlier.”

I have done some searching, but the heavy searching is just starting now.  During my sabbatical, I will search, search, search!

I started a spreadsheet to track data, and, later in the spring, I will seek interviews with individuals who work for the companies that produce the two commercial databases in my study.  Their experiences gathering biographical information will add life to my final article.  There’s nothing like a story, and these experiences will provide stories behind the stories.


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