Support Beckett Letters Linked Data Project

The Samuel Beckett Letters project is 30-plus-year research endeavor to locate, transcribe and annotate all extant letters written by Irish writer Samuel Beckett. Led by project director Lois Overbeck in the Laney Graduate School, it has resulted in the publication of four volumes of selected letters (Cambridge University Press, 2009-2016). Following this publication, Overbeck’s team began collaborating with the library to create the Location Register which provides archival location and letter metadata for each item in public archives and with the Emory Center for Digital Scholarship (ECDS) to develop the Linked Data website which provides an interactive index to all Beckett letters in public archives.

The Letters of Samuel Beckett has entered the final phase of its open-access Linked Data Project. This interactive index of all of Beckett’s letters in public archives supports future scholarship and research in the collections of Beckett’s letters held in archives world-wide.

Just as Beckett’s letters offer a rich context for the events of the 20th century to many fields of inquiry, so the metadata of the Linked Data Project opens the door to Beckett’s life and works for digital humanities initiatives. Emory students have played a significant role in establishing this unique resource, and have gained invaluable research skills by working with the editors of the project.

We invite your gifts to support this work toward its live reveal in April 2023. Your donation will be matched, up to $25,000. Gifts can be made online here. For more information about supporting the project, please contact Philip Brooks, Lead Director of Development at philip [dot] brooks [at] emory [dot] edu or (678) 801-5909.         

Ananya Mohan Undergraduate Spotlight

This summer, Emory partnered with Plympton, a San Francisco-based literary studio that focuses on innovation in publishing, to offer paid internships to thirteen students, most of them English majors. Plympton works across a range of practices, from story format to book cover design to library licenses to writer compensation. It is also building a database of short stories, called the Writing Atlas, which includes rich information about each story, such as plot summaries and reader annotations, to help understand why some stories have been successful and how some might also be successful as TV or film adaptations. It aspires to be the world’s most comprehensive database of short stories.

Emory student interns each read approximately one hundred and twenty short stories this summer, most from the history of the Best American Short Story series, and prepared accounts of them for the Writing Atlas. In addition, they had opportunities to meet with industry professionals. Each week, Plympton hosted figures working in a range of positions to speak with and take questions from the interns, which allowed them to explore possible careers. Finally, Plympton invited interns to share their particular passions and helped them find special projects to take on, which included working with adaptation rights from literature to film, designing ebook covers, and writing treatments of novels for Hollywood producers.

The Department of English is delighted to spotlight Ananya Mohan’s participation in the internship, read her reflections below!

Ananya Mohan
English Major
Emory University, Class of 2024

Remote internships can seem like a necessity enforced by the pandemic – complicated to execute and difficult to participate in – but my experience with the Emory-Plympton internship was anything but. The primary objective was to work on the Writing Atlas, which is a database storing information on American short stories going back several decades. By itself, this was engaging work – being exposed to the variety within the sub-genre and working with stories that overlap in interesting ways with other fields of study.

However, the best part of this internship was the extra value that it offered by way of weekly speaker sessions. These meetings allowed interns to connect with people who have been working in the publishing industry for many years, who offered advice and insight into the realities of the job. The main thing that I took away from this internship is the real-world applicability of an English major, especially since Plympton supplemented their speaker meetings by giving interns the opportunity to work on their other projects as well.

Overall, this was an experience that I really enjoyed. The environment was welcoming, the hours were more than reasonable, and even though it was remote, it felt well-connected. I hope Emory carries this forward in the coming years!