The Voyage of the Sally site is a collaborative project developed by the Brown University Scholarly Technology Group, working with the Center for Digital Initiatives, the John Carter Brown Library, and Professor James Campbell. In 2006 Professor Campbell received an STG faculty grant to create a digital project centering on a collection of historical documents pertaining to the voyage of the Sally. The goal of the project is to represent these documents and make them available to the general public, through an interface that encourages exploration of the historical, economic, and social context.
The documents themselves were first digitized by the JCB and the CDI, and housed in the CDI's digital repository together with detailed metadata to allow for effective retrieval and indexing. Next, the materials were transcribed as XML, following the Text Encoding Initiative Guidelines. These full-text transcriptions capture the documents' structure, the details of their physical state (including revisions, damage, and illegibility), and the important content features that would support contextual research, such as names, places, events, and commodities. Finally, an interface was designed that would allow readers to search and read the documents (both the digital images and the full-text transcriptions), as well as exploring their relationships. Detailed contextual information on the people and social networks, the commodities and how they are exchanged, the events of the voyage, and the geographical locations, is also represented in XML and provides a basis for advanced exploratory tools, some of which are still under development.
Further documents are being digitized as they are discovered and the collection will continue to grow over time.