This lexicon aims to be a useful tool by which we can understand Loy’s poetry and word choice. In this way, creating a digital tool for Loy’s Lunar Baedecker may help preserve this text and provide a locus from which scholarship can derive. The project also hopes to provide the resources for scholars to capture the multiplicity in meaning in Loy’s poetry. We have attempted to capture this multiplicity through tags or hyperlinks, favoring many different categories or genres to describe Loy’s word choice. We would like to acknowledge our debt to previous efforts to digitize Loy’s work.
Andrew Pilsch and Mina Loy Online
Texas A&M Professor Andrew Pilsch has written extensively about his attempt to digitize Mina Loy on his website: Mina Loy Online. Pilsch argues that Loy’s spacing/form (or what he calls “typographic practices”) challenge Italian Futurism’s notion of machinery as masculine and rational. In the process of digitizng Loy, he contends that Loy’s poetry challenges the modern mechanism of online textual coding like HTML in its uniform, linear, and rational structure that disallows multiple perspectives or polyvocality.
In the chapter, Pilsch reveals the limitations in the coding format HTML, a format that this website uses through WordPress. Through extensive tweaking and experimentation, Pilsch has found his own alternative methods to counteract HTML’s limitations.
We, as of the current iteration of the site, have taken into consideration Pilsch’s critique but have been unable to find a solution. In response to this dead end, we do invite future digital humanities projects to take up this project, explore new coding options, and find ways to more aptly capture poets like Mina Loy and their typography.
Mina Loy Papers Online
The creators of Mina Loy Papers, a project sponsored by the Beinecke Library collection at Yale University, have digitized the library’s entire collection of Loy’s papers. The archive contains poetry, prose, designs, drawings, and copyrighted inventions documenting Loy’s life and work. The papers in the collection span from 1914 to 1960.
This digital archive proves immensely helpful to our project and useful for Loy scholarship in general. By cataloging her work, providing digital copies that reveal the changes and edits in her drafts, and allowing for multiple “tags” to organize her collections, the project provides a vast expanse of material for new digital humanities projects and traditional scholarship. We encourage any scholars who are interested in studying Loy’s work to consult this archive.
Mina Loy: Navigating the Avant-Garde
Created by Davidson College professor Suzanne W. Churchill, Duquesne University Professor Linda Kinnahan, Univesity of Georgia professor Susan Rosenbaum, Mina Loy: Navigating the Avant-Garde examines and catalogs Loy’s avant-garde affiliations. The site uses new modes of digital scholarly to expand visual and textual understanding of Mina Loy’s oeuvre.
Unlike the Beinecke Library project and Mina Loy Online, Mina Loy: Navigating the Avant-Garde does not create a digital archive of Loy’s work and career. The project provides a multimedia and interactive platform for digital access to Loy as a writer and artist. With an emphasis on user interaction and multiple researchers, the site aims to create a multi-authored, multi-perspective digital resource and to exemplify UX design standards for digital humanities scholarship.
While providing its own interpretations of Loy’s work, the site also rethinks theories of the avant-garde and engages with a new, feminist theory of the avant-garde–what the project calls the “en dehors garde” or those artists whose work exists on the margins or “outside” of traditional standards of the avant-garde.