Okay, but would anyone use this?
Several people have said (most of them on Claire Bourne’s Facebook page) that they would use an edition of Virginia in unfolded sheets. But Aaron Pratt objected that it would not help people set type or, more accurately, to arrange a forme of set type. He suggested that, particularly for that latter stage of the process, beginning typesetters could use a model of what the finished forme should look like: a mirror image of the printed sheet. So I’ve produced both versions, one showing the printed sheets, and the other showing the arrangement of the formes. I plan to offer both to the students who are typesetting the quarto. But would anyone else ever use this version?
In order to help students typeset the first Va. Co. sermon, I’ve started laying out the pages as they would have appeared before the sheets were folded. Now I think that I’ll use these sheets in other, future courses that feature no typesetting. I’ll probably have students fold, sew, and open their own printouts of the reconstructed sheets, both to introduce them to how printed quartos were made and to provide them with a free facsimile of an early modern book that they’ve helped to produce. If anyone else would ever do something similar, British Virginia could publish a third edition of this quarto, in unfolded sheets. So, would you have a use for a digital facsimile of a quarto in unfolded sheets? If you would, please let me know, and I’ll add Virginia Company Sermons 1.3 to the pipeline.
Students in Jamie Mahoney’s “Introduction to Letterpress” and my “Book History of Church Hill” course started typesetting William Symonds’ 1609 sermon to the Virginia Company of London today.
British Virginia is a new series of scholarly editions of documents touching on the colony. These texts will eventually range from the 16th and 17th-century literature of English exploration to the 19th-century writing of loyalists and other Virginians who continued to identify with Great Britain. British Virginia editions appear principally in digital form, freely downloadable. The editorial offices sit appropriately at the research university nearest both the falls of the James River, and the site of the first English college planned for this side of the Atlantic Ocean, Henricus Colledge.
Original logo design: Bri Spicer