University of Pennsylvania: Prospecting Playbills

University of Pennsylvania: Prospecting Playbills. “A 1790 playbill advertising two comedies performed in the English town of Hull, The Belle’s Strategem and Harlequin Foundling, has 40 lines of text to describe the performance, including: “To conclude with a DANCE of FAIRIES in THE TEMPLE OF LIBERTY.” Playbills for 18th- and 19th-century dramatic performances such as this one are not only engaging, but filled with valuable information for researchers. How to capture and catalogue all of those varied, and often quirky, details for meaningful analysis? Neither a method nor a database exists. Until now.” That’s a heck of an opening for this article, but I’d love to learn the differences between this project and the British Library’s Playbill project, which was announced last September. Not that I think there should be only one or anything like that, I just want to know how this one is so different.

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