The James Joyce Digital Archive presents the complete compositional histories of Ulysses & Finnegans Wake in an interactive format for scholars, students and general readers.
The James Joyce Digital Archive is divided into two 'volumes': Ulysses and Finnegans Wake. In each volume the final text contains within it a representation of the penultimate level (the page proofs), within that a representation of the preceding level (the galleys), and so on all the way down to a representation of the earliest draft and notebook entries. It effectively provides an edition of each draft level (in itself an invaluable tool for textual studies) linked to the relevant sections of the notebooks and notesheets Joyce used to augment the text. Thus a user of the JJDA can watch the text write itself out of the thousands of its constitutive notes. These materials, and the details of the variation between levels, allow readers to make informed judgements regarding the various printed editions of Ulysses and Finnegans Wake in addition to providing them with the means to create new editions based on different editorial methods.
Designed as a template for digital textual studies, The James Joyce Digital Archive aims to provide a detailed, accurate, interactive account of two of the most complex compositional histories in literary history. It also provides a dynamic model of the creative process of composition itself. As an advanced method for the study and presentation of literary works in general, it will hopefully serve as an extensible template for an almost limitless range of textual studies.
The JJDA volumes for Ulysses and Finnegans Wake are similarly structured. In each volume the final text contains within it a representation of the penultimate level (the page proofs), within that a representation of the preceding level (the galleys), and so on all the way down to a representation of the earliest draft and notebook entries. With the top navigation bar, the reader can select any episode of Ulysses, or any chapter of Finnegans Wake; the side navigation bars then present the reader with all the available levels of text for that section.
'Notons' (referencing Joyce's use of notebook units) and 'Footnotes' (providing editorial comments) are hyperlinked throughout. Readers may turn these links on or off for each draft. Other potentially useful information is available in the Appendix, where one will find biographical and compositional chronologies for both works and, among other things, 'A Chicken's Guide to Finnegans Wake'.
All of James Joyce's works published during his lifetime and everything unpublished as of 1st January 2012 (including all presently ‘lost’ or ‘mislaid’ documents) are in the public domain. Other public domain items include “The Earliest Sections of Finnegans Wake”, ed. M.J.C. Hodgart (James Joyce Review, February 1957), Scribbledehobble: the Ur Workbook for Finnegans Wake, ed. Thomas E. Connolly (Evanston: Northwestern U. P., 1961), A First-Draft Version of Finnegans Wake, ed. David Hayman (Austin: University of Texas Press, 1963) and the various volumes of the Letters (London: Faber and Faber, 1957, 1966). The Rosenbach Manuscript of Ulysses was published in facsimile by Faber and Faber in 1975 and will enter the public domain in 2026. The Ulysses and Finnegans Wake notebooks first published in the James Joyce Archive will enter the public domain in 2028 and 2029. The Ulysses notesheets, ed. Phillip F. Herring, were published by the University Press of Virginia in 1972 and will enter the public domain in 2023.
When the Joyce MSS came out of copyright in 2012, provision was made in European copyright law for copyright-equivalent rights for 25 years to be given to the first publisher of previously unpublished public domain material. Acting on this, and to avoid our work once again being suppressed, we published a tranche of Joyce manuscripts early in that year. At the same time a number of academics and other vested interests sought — by ceding all rights in unpublished public-domain materials to the holding institutions — to add a new level of control over scholarship. That effort has so far failed.
In 1977 the James Joyce Estate gave Danis Rose permission to publish his annotated edition of Finnegans Wake notebook VI.B.46. In 1978 permission was granted to the present editors for the publication of the Finnegans Wake critical edition. This permission was confirmed in 1991 and extended to include editions of all the early manuscripts.
As permission was not granted for the publication of most of the Finnegans Wake notebooks, our annotated transcriptions of these documents have not been included in this, the public, website. It is hoped that these omissions can be rectified at some point in the near future, as the full, linear notebook transcriptions are needed for future editorial work on these documents. In the meantime, readers will have to make do with snippets, which we call ‘notons’ — annotated individual notebook entries linked to their usage in the drafts and final texts of both of Joyce's two masterpieces.
The Rosenbach Manuscript of Ulysses has been omitted from the public site for the same reason, this despite the fact that our transcriptions originated in work done for the 1984 Gabler critical and synoptic edition.
Following the publication of the Dublin Ulysses Papers (East Lansing: House of Breathings, 2012) Phillip F. Herring agreed to allow a new edition of his seminal Joyce's Ulysses Notesheets in the British Museum (Charlottesville: University Press of Virginia, 1972), updated and re-arranged by Danis Rose, to be brought out in the same format. As a print edition is now no longer suitable (it does not facilitate regular updates) we have decided to include it digitally in the Archive. After 47 years, Herring's pioneering work on the Ulysses notes are again available to Joyce scholars.
The Archive would be improved by the addition of a linked version of the reading text of the 1984 Critical and Synoptic Edition of Ulysses, as it is the most commonly cited edition in scholarly publications. To offset this disadvantage, we have included an annotated version of the 2017 edition marked up to indicate the differences between it and the 1984 edition (thus allowing the two editions to critique each other) and we have included the 1984 episode.line numbering details for every Ulysses notebook and notesheet element. These latter are thus triply linked: (1) to the 2017 edition, (2) to the 2017-1984 collation, and (3) to the 1922 first edition.
We have augmented the Finnegans Wake volume of the JJDA by integrating into it a revised and annotated version of our Understanding Finnegans Wake: a Guide to the Narrative of James Joyce's Masterpiece published in 1979 by Garland. Its purpose is twofold: to enable the reader to follow Joyce's otherwise unreadable book and, once the idea that the book is at least in principle followable, to marvel at how much better its prose is and sounds, whether or not one understands it, when compared with the ordinary prose of the Guide.
Danis Rose and John O’Hanlon are the editors of James Joyce’s Ulysses (Folio Society, 2017), Finnegans Wake (Houynhnhnm Press, 2010; Penguin Classics, 2012; and Folio Society, 2014), The Lost Notebook (Split Pea Press, 1989), and The James Joyce Archive vols. 28-63 (Garland, 1977-78). Rose’s publications also include the six volumes of The Dublin Ulysses Papers (East Lansing: House of Breathings, 2012), Finn’s Hotel (Ithys Press, 2012) and The Textual Diaries of James Joyce (Lilliput Press, 1995).
Many people have contributed to the development of this project over the years. We would like to thank them here.
The James Joyce Digital Archive is a rich repository and learning tool. It is also a work-in-progress through which we hope to promote discussion and further research. We welcome your active participation in assuring the growth and accuracy of the project and encourage you to get in touch.