File Online to Prevent Shelving the Case: Notes on Arcadia's Women Poets - by Tatiana Crivelli
The present paper deals with the history of women's writing, focussing on marginalized texts and, more precisely, on how to recover lost memories. The “cold case” of Arcadia's women poets shows that even accidental marginalization becomes a 'habitus' that implies the systematic exclusion of texts from the literary canon. The digital archive is the ideal tool to counteract this effect.
As an example the paper introduces the literary electronic archive on the women writers of the Accademia of Arcadia during the 18th century implemented at the University of Zurich and it shows its successful achievements in collecting and displaying information about them. The conspicuous database 'Donne in Arcadia (1690-1800)' (<http://www.rose.uzh.ch/crivelli/arcadia>) is freely accessible and at present it contains more than 450 names of women poets, more than 900 titles of literary works and more than 1200 bibliographical entries. Hence it allows for reliable and general considerations about how to file writings by women.
The paper argues that, thanks to their open and dynamic qualities, digital literary archives are the best means to give new life to forgotten texts and to give a voice to long marginalized authors: also they don’t just collect distinct exemplary models, but generate a new overview on the whole literary tradition in its complexity. This is how literary 'cold cases' may remain open without being definitely shelved forever.