A great number of persons have to a lesser or greater degree assisted us in the slow gestation and delivery of this project, which originated in 1972 when Danis was invited by Tom Cowan, Professor of Law at Rutgers University, to spend some time in America and from his New York home go on to inspect the Joyce holdings in the Poetry Collection at the State University of New York at Buffalo. He had met Tom by chance by sitting in an unoccupied seat (it had been reserved for Clive Hart) at a lecture during the Dublin James Joyce Symposium. On arrival in Buffalo, Danis’ research was facilitated by the curator Karl Gay (formerly secretary to Robert Graves) who encouraged his investigations into the Finnegans Wake notebooks there conserved. They were little-known in those years. Karl made the originals and copies freely available to him, suggested some visual tricks useful in decipherment, and afforded him accommodation by day: space, table and chair. By night, when the Collection was inaccessible, Danis was looked after by Nan Bouton, who ran the students’ residence and who read poetry to him. It was that kind of time and place.
From these peripheral beginnings grew the ever-expanding hypertext project here concluded, as over the ensuing years we sought to make it evermore all-inclusive. The litany of the various people who helped us push the business on is given below in two categories. We have tried to make it more or less chronological in arrangement, as individuals came and went, as they do, in and out of our lives and work.
We apologise for the inevitable omissions: memory is imperfect.
Work on the James Joyce Digital Archive began in earnest in 1976. It’s first fruits were the 36 Finnegans Wake volumes of the James Joyce Archive (New York: Garland Publishing, 1977-1978) for which work the editors received one full set (63 volumes) of the Archive, a payment that turned out to be essential for everything that followed. Around the same time, Thomas A. Cowan, Professor of Law at Rutgers University, provided funding for the publication of The Index Manuscript: Buffalo Workbook VI.B.46 (Colchester: A Wake Newslitter Press, 1978) and Hans Walter Gabler, Professor of English at the University of Munich, arranged for a half-time stipend to be paid by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft for work on the manuscripts of Ulysses for his Critical and Synoptic Edition (New York: Garland, 1984). The other half-time was for work (unpaid) on a companion edition of Finnegans Wake.
The lean period that followed (during which work continued) ended in 1987 with a substantial grant (partly offset by our sale to him of an original Joyce manuscript) paid for by Haven O’More, the renowned Boston book collector. This lasted for about three years. The 1990s were once again lean until, in 1999, the Irish-American philanthropist Chuck Feeney and the Irish Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht jointly funded a five-year program, to be administered by the James Joyce Centre in Dublin, to advance the project. Due to outside intervention (letters from the James Joyce Estate and the setting-up of an alternative project) the final payment by the Department was withheld and the program was not renewed.
After 2004, the project received no substantial funding or support other than the private gifts of friends. In 2010 the late Brian Lenehan, at the time Ireland’s Minister of Finance, generously and appropriately provided a State Room in Dublin Castle for the launch of the Houyhnhnm Press edition of Finnegans Wake. In September 2010, the Irish American Historical Society invited Danis Rose over to New York to give a talk on his work, and in May 2011 Culture Ireland financed a trip to Australia for him to participate in the Sydney Writers Festival.
Danis Rose and John O’Hanlon are the editors of James Joyce’s Ulysses (Folio Society, 2017), Finnegans Wake (Houynhnhnm Press, 2010), The Lost Notebook (Split Pea Press, 1989), and The James Joyce Archive vols. 28-63 (Garland, 1977-78). Rose’s publications also include Finn’s Hotel (Ithys Press, 2012) and The Textual Diaries of James Joyce (Lilliput Press, 1995).
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 welcome you to get in touch.