- All Astir
This “All Astir” column is dedicated to Robert Sandberg, who has served as the Melville Society web editor for 14 years. Bob was appointed by John Bryant and created the Melville Society website from scratch. John records:
I first met Bob Sandberg through his scholarship and writing: first in his piece on “The House of the Tragic Poet” in Extracts (before I became editor) and then in his dissertation, a magnificent edition of “The Burgundy Club,” which I used in my own scholarship. I think I got to know Bob “in person” through Ishmail (the email list-serve I “moderated” for eleven years starting in 1994). He was managing the online presence for the Los Angeles school district (I believe); and, wanting an online presence for Extracts, soon to become Leviathan, I asked him if he would help. We agreed that a robust platform called Joomla, which I had come across, was a good way to go, and the rest was entirely in his hands. At the time, it was fashionable to refer to cyber-mavens like Bob as “webmasters,” but for professional (and racial) reasons, we wanted to steer clear of that title. Bob was and remains an “editor” (both scholarly and journalistic), and I can think of no higher calling, so he became an official member of the slowly growing Leviathan staff: our “web editor.” And what a gift to Melville Studies his work has been.
As Samuel Otter, President of the Melville Society, writes: “The Society is in Bob’s debt for bringing it into the digital age. Much appreciation to Bob for his pioneering work on the Melville Society website [and] for presiding over it during the past fourteen years.” Dennis Berthold, long-time Treasurer and former President of the Melville Society, adds: “There’s no doubt Bob has performed brilliantly, steadily, and creatively in developing the Society’s website over the years. Thank you, Bob.” Robert K. Wallace, former President of the Melville Society, notes: “And Bob, while he was pioneering and sustaining the website all these years, was also playing a major role in bringing the Northwestern-Newberry edition of Melville’s writing to completion.” Brian Yothers, Editor of Leviathan, sums up the praise for Bob’s work, “Hear, hear! Bob, it has been a true pleasure and privilege to work with you, and we all have much to be grateful for in your contributions to the Melville Society! Thank you for your excellent work on the website!” I personally want to join in the chorus of thanks. Thank you, Bob, for your kindness as I sent you more and more [End Page 135]
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materials from the Melville Society Archive to put up on the website. You were unfailingly kind, patient, and creative. It has been so wonderful to be able to send scholars, from the United States and abroad, to the website and to have them know what is in the Archive.
We begin this “All Astir” with some happy news. The University of Chicago’s digital editions initiative CEDAR (Critical Editions for Digital Analysis and Research) has brought the Melville Electronic Library into its fold. As John Bryant writes:
After almost two years of being a digital orphan, MEL has now found a new home, with even greater institutional support than before. MEL will join CEDAR’s three current projects (focusing on Gilgamesh, the Bible, and Shake-speare), which share the same powerful database called OCHRE (Online Cultural and Historical Research Environment). MEL represents CEDAR’s growth into nineteenth-century and modern literary works as well as modern editorial approaches. Since spring 2020, Wyn Kelley, Christopher Ohge, and I have been working with CEDAR and OCHRE staffs to transition MEL onto this new platform. Going forward, MEL’s most immediate plans are to edit Typee and Benito Cereno.
In more good news, the Melville Society is pleased to announce that the 2019 Hennig Cohen Prize has been awarded to Kellen...