Kim Martin deposited Purpose and Purpose-Built: Considering Multi-Purposality in Developing a Linked Historical Gazetteer of London. on Humanities Commons 4 years, 10 months ago
English Renaissance Theatre is generally dated between 1576-1642: circumscribed by the construction of the Theatre in 1576 and the closing of the public playhouses by Act of Parliament in 1642. ‘Found’ London performance locations in taverns, churches, legal and professional buildings, aristocratic houses, not to mention the streets and waterways in the city – suggest amateurish or provincial performance styles that are somehow less important without those purpose-built theatres.
Many theatre historians, including David Bevington, Janelle Jenstad, Sally-Beth MacLean, Scott McMillin, and Alan Nelson, have demonstrated the importance of London performance beyond the purpose-built playhouse, proving that theatre-going for 16th and 17th century Londoners was rooted to the topography of London itself and not consigned to a few amphitheatres in adjacent liberties.
The work being done by the REED London team, digitally amplifying the research produced in print by the Records of Early English Drama, re-avers that audiences expected to witness professional entertainments in interior and exterior spaces throughout the city, and that these spaces were appropriated for performance at the same time that they were in use for their defined purposes: The Bell Inn Yard on Gracious Street, Merchant Taylors’ Hall in Cornhill, Temple Bar, the Tiltyard at Whitehall, even the Thames itself were all regularly used for performances but are not so well known for this as for their more primary functions.
As we in REED London compile our place entities in anticipation of sharing our gazetteer with other projects engaged in the study of historical London, we find ourselves confronted with this multi-purposality. We see this type of platial complexity as important to the development of materials to be connected to the semantic web. In this poster we will put forward a model for how such qualitative information can be integrated into the process of publishing historical place entities.