Academic projects invariably rely on the support of a large network of friends, collaborators, librarians, students, and other supporters and contributors. A website like the BioText has an even wider array of supporters--so many, in fact, that I begin to wonder yet again about the very idea of "authorship" in academic work. But that is an argument for a different day. For the present, let me simply identify a few of the people who have contributed to the project, so that I might publicly acknowledge my gratitude.
First, my thanks go out to a number of student research assistants and interns—in particular, Maggie Gilchrist, Lissa Peterson, James Owens, Tara Nicole Brown, Jacob Melvin, Reddock Davenport, and Jilla Tombar have all been most helpful in tracking down bibliographical citations, locating biographies of obscure Hone-related characters, proofreading web pages, transcribing obscure photocopies of cryptic correspondence, and in general doing much of the invisible work that stands behind any large-scale scholarly production.
In addition, a work like this is wholly indebted to the librarians and archivists who make it possible to locate and collect the primary texts. In particular I would like to thanks Elayne Gardstein and Eugene Neely from the outstanding Hone Collection at Adelphi University; Kelly Meal and Ivan A. W. Bunn from the Suffolk Record Office in Lowestoft; Cheryl Gunselman from Washington State University with its surprisingly detailed archive of materials relating to Hone's Every-Day Book, Zach Downey at Indiana University's Lilly Library, Kyle Hovious at the University of Tennessee, Sue Hodson at the Huntington Library, as well as any number of staff librarians at the New York Public Library, Stanford University, the State Library of Tasmania, the University of Iowa Library, and especially at the British Library where the large collection of Hone papers is maintained. An especially grateful acknowledgement goes to Heather Martin, the reference librarian at my home institution whose good sense and patience when fielding my odd-ball questions has been truly invaluable. In addition to these remarkable archivists and librarians, many scholar-colleagues have helped me track down and transcribe materials or have been generous in sharing their own research and sources. In particular, I would like to thank Joss Marsh of Indiana University, Jason McElligott of Marsh's Library in Dublin, Ben Colbert from the University of Wolverhampton, and Michael Demson of Sam Houston State University.
Financial support has come from several research grants from my home institution, the University of Alabama at Birmingham. I would like to thank in particular the department Chairs who have all found ways to support my work with both money and encouragment: Lee Person, Marilyn Kurata, Elaine Whitaker, Ted Benditt, and Peter Bellis. And a special thanks goes to Associate Dean Rebecca Bach for her efforts in support of humanities research at UAB. The National Endowment for the Humanities summer seminar with Dr. Paula Backscheider of Auburn University provided both an introduction to the methods and locations for archival research in the UK as well as a provoking discussion—"provoking" in the best sense of the term—of the theoretical issues inherent in writing traditional literary biography.
I am also indebted to any number of scholars whose work has been influential—often decisively so—on the shape and content of The BioText. My friend and mentor Jack Stillinger sparked an initial interest and provided my basic training in scholarly editing. Others whose work specifically on Hone or on the politics and print history of Hone's period include Stephen Behrendt, Carol Bolton, Ann Bowden, Fred Burwick, Michael T. Davis, Gary Dyer, D. R. Ewen, Neil Fraistat, Andrew Franta, John Gardner, J. Ann Hone, Steve Jones, David Kent, Jon Klancher, Peter Manning, Joss Marsh, Iain McCalman, Jason McElligott, Jon Mee, Robert Patten, William St. Clair, Olivia Smith, John Strachan, Ben Wilson, Marcus Wood, Duncan Wu, and many others.
My colleagues and friends in my own University have provided a congenial scholarly environment in which my work could flourish. For their casual insights, thoughtful critiques, and fine conversations, I will be always grateful. Here at UAB, David Basilico, Cynthia Ryan, Kerry Madden, Vic Camp, Lauren Slaughter, Bob Collins, Jim Mersmann, Randa Graves, Adam Vines, Kieran Quinlan, Bruce McComiskey, Cassandra Ellis, Alison Chapman, Bill Hutchings, Michael Kightley, Flowers Braswell, Rebecca Bach, Gale Temple, Peggy Jolly, Chris Minnix, Jay Jessee, Jeff Bacha, Jaci Wells, and many others. Elsewhere, conversations with Bob Steltman, Jake Jakaitis, Mark Cummings, Heidi Thomson, Ed Jacobs, Manuela Mourao, David Allison, and Mark Jeffreys have meant more to this project than any of these persons can really know. And I would like to thank in particular Danny Siegel whose kindness, generosity, and scholarly good sense (not to mention very capable proofreading) have been crucial to my confidence in my own project.
Finally, to Catherine Calvert and Alasdair Findlay-Shirras and to Marj and Wilson Zaring for their generosity and good conversation, to Leonard Grimes for his tireless support, kind concern, and humane wisdom, and to Deanna and Carolyn, who have been, for years now, patiently tolerating my fascination with Hone and with electronic scholarship more generally...many thanks!