Electronic Scholarly Editions: Using Electronic Maps to Explore Willa Cather’s Life and Works

Looking around a few different electronic scholarly editions of authors’ works this week, I came across the Geographic Chronology project, which maps American author Willa Cather’s life and travels, in order to think about how they relate to her writing. Willa Cather, known widely for  O Pioneers!My Ántonia, and The Song of the Lark, according to Wikipedia, and known to me for “Paul’s Case,” which I read in a class once, traveled throughout her life, and this is evident in her works. This project uses her biographical information and her works themselves to plot the chronology of her life in places in the United States and Europe on a specialized Google Map.

Cather_map

Viewers can browse by date range, by location, or by the entire chronology of her life. This is a very cool way to visualize and think beyond “close reading,” and to map out more “distant” patterns in literature.

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