History of the Ricorso Logbooks

The records maintained in this section of RICORSO are divided into “Old Series” and “New Series” corresponding to the distinct periods during which my research materials were uploaded to the PGIL-EIRData and the RICORSO websites.
In the “Old Series”, the files are listed under the names of the computers and locations involved in building the said website: i.e., “Adelaide” - my home address; “Cromore” - my office at the University of Ulster; and “Mercury” - a travelling laptop mostly used in Dublin but also at such locations as the Princess Grace Irish Library in Monaco. Files updated by FTP from each of these locations were intermittently copied to a USB drive and carried back to the main computer located at my home (i.e., “Adelaide”) in order to form a day-by-day record of the file volume of file-processing involved in maintaining the website.
As explained in the index to the “New Series”, the practice of carrying the whole website on a USB pen drive after circa March 2008 has resulted in a single record in place of the three location-related records in the previous set and, with this innovation, the files identified with each location were reorganised into annual periods. Here, also, there are lacuna due in part to my lapse of interest in the log-making process as the prospects of renewing funding from any source diminished.

Emerging hopes during 2009 that the website might retain an acknowledge place of value in Irish studies resulted in a renewed impetus, and records of uploads had been strictly kept since that time. Here, however, the intervals are longer since the higher-capacity pen-drives of the present (i.e., 4GB and greater) enables the maintenance of larger numbers of files on the “local” site, together with greater numbers of back-up records and archives of the whole site in successive states of development. Since that technical development it is not been necessary to locate the website on static hard-drives at sundry locations, as before. Being a one-man creation it has not been necessary, either, to maintain a check-out and check-in regime of the kind suited to multi-location teamwork - as was the original project plan for this website.

As to its actual compilation, each listing of uploads to be found in any of the individual attached files was generated by the “Synchronise” command in Macromedia Dreamweaver - the software used to maintain the RICORSO website. While the resultant record gives some idea of amount of editorial activity involved, but does not accurately reflect the true extent of work since repeated editorial sessions spent on a single file are not recorded. In many instances, also, the work done on numerous files was never recorded in this manner due to the inconvenience or confusions involved in saving and uploading listing records of the present kind to this website.

At the micro-level, changes within a given file may range from orthographical and/or formatting edits (occasionally conducted by macros) to major textual additions, or minor alterations in the linkage pattern between file and file on the whole website - a matter that has absorbed a great deal of time as the overall shape of the website developed. It is ultimately impossible to form an accurate estimate of the amount of activity involved in maintaining RICORSO in terms of hours of editorial labour invested in it, since I have made no record of the clock-time involved. Moreover, the unit-count of uploads provides scant indication of the editorial work involved since attention to individual files or to source-materials have been intensely varied and often unpredictable at all stages of the project.

By way of indication, however, it is worth pointing out that the total number of uploads between Feb. 2005 and August 2007 stood at 27,318 compared with the 8,000 files which comprised the entire website at that period. These figures are available because of the special vigilance required when the RICORSO website came online as a distinctive, new resource based upon longer-standing digital materials. The rate of development since that time is difficult to compute because the interval between global “uploads” and related record-taking has tended to grow longer. Furthermore, the putting in place of a cut-off line in 2010 - which has since, however, been overstepped - marked a stage at which the proportion of my time devoted to RICORSO began to diminish, for better or for worse.
While current work on RICORSO is undoubtedly less systematic or intense than previously, it remains my main context of archival record and the rate of editorial work in the form of additions and corrections is by no means desultory at the time of writing. Neverthless, I feel that the RICORSO project is essentially complete, and that any additions at this stage are simply intended to bring the existing corpus to a more acceptable level of presentation in terms of accuracy and scale considered as a mirror image of Irish studies up to the date of this notice.
Bruce Stewart; revised Aug. 2012.

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