Go to the home page for Odour of Chrysanthemums, a text in process

About the project

In 2000, the University first began to investigate routes for delivering online access for educational purposes to variants of Lawrence short stories, in a collaboration between the Manuscripts and Special Collections department, Professor John Worthen and other academic colleagues at Nottingham.

The possibilities and problems in mounting the “Odour of Chrysanthemums” were outlined in E. Archer, “Issues in delivering primary source materials over the internet as resources for research and learning in the humanities: a case study based on developing the short story “Odour of chrysanthemums” by D H Lawrence as an online teaching and research resource” (MA thesis, University of Nottingham, 2004). 

The opportunity to build on these findings and develop the present web resource arose through the work of Dr Sean Matthews of the School of English Studies and Director of the D H Lawrence Research Centre.  With funding awarded from the English Subject Centre he undertook a project to digitise papers relating to Lawrence’s  ‘Odour of Chrysanthemums’, with supporting pedagogic materials for textual, historical and critical study. This allowed for the encoding of the texts to support student interpretation.  

Footnotes and analysis


New footnotes have been written for Episode 1 (The Opening), Episode 3 (The Children) and Episode 4 (The Visit to the Rigleys). These are the result of consultation of a range of sources:


Analysis of the different versions of the story was first carried out in hardcopy, and in several stages:

  1. Photocopies were made of the three versions: one copy of the 1910 text (Version A, Uncorrected proofs), two copies of the 1911 text (Version C, published in English Review) and one copy of the 1914 text (Version D, published in The Prussian Officer and Other Stories). The texts were then systematically compared in pairs: Version A with Version C, and Version C with Version D. Each pair of texts was colour coded for deletions, additions and changes, as shown in 'Compare texts'.
  2. Fresh, unmarked, photocopies of the texts were cut up and pasted on to A3 sheets, in pairs and side by side (Version A alongside Version C; Version C alongside Version D), aligning corresponding paragraphs and sentences as closely as possible. The colour codings on the 'master' copies were then transferred to these sheets, thus creating a clear visual display of where all deletions, additions and changes occur across each pair of versions.
  3. The codings were then applied to the electronic texts using HTML/CSS mark-up.

About the sources

Images, texts and transcriptions are drawn from the Lawrence Collection and other holdings of the Manuscripts and Special Collections Section at the University of Nottingham.

In February 2008, the Lawrence Collection won recognition through The Museums, Libraries and Archives Council (MLA) Designation Scheme as being of outstanding national and international importance.

Additional photographs have been sourced from Picture the Past and permission to use these on the site is gratefully acknowledged

Terms of use

Copyright in the web resource “Odour of Chrysanthemums: A Text in Progress” belongs to The University of Nottingham. 

Copyright in materials within the resource varies. It has been approved for educational use only and may not be re-used in any form. 

For further advice contact Manuscripts and Special Collections.


If you wish to cite the website in a publication please list it with the URL, and the month and year you accessed it, as in the following example:

Odour of Chrysanthemums: A Text in Process, The University of Nottingham. date you accessed the site <http://odour.nottingham.ac.uk>.


The development team in Manuscripts and Special Collections and Dr Sean Matthews gratefully acknowledge the support and advice of colleagues at the University and the feedback of students and colleagues who commented on early versions. Particular thanks are due to:

Professor James Boulton
Dr Hilary Hillier
Picture the Past
Pollinger Limited

Credits and Project Team

The Project is a collaboration between Manuscripts and Special Collections, Information Services and the D. H. Lawrence Research Centre at The University of Nottingham.

The principal Project Team members have been:
Dr Sean Matthews and Dr Hilary Hillier (both from D H Lawrence Research Centre)
Elizabeth Archer, Claire Emery and Dr Dorothy Johnston (Manuscripts and Special Collections)

Roles and contributions:
Academic oversight of all content: S Matthews
Project management: E Archer
Project development and initial scoping of themes: S Matthews and E Archer
Text analysis and footnotes: S Matthews and H Hillier
Selection of supporting images and background material: E Archer
Framework for describing the dialect of the Erewash Valley: H Hillier

TEI markup, image processing, website design and development: C Emery
XML/HTML markup for footnotes and text comparisons: H Hillier
OCR capture and checking: A Bowler
Image capture and metadata: M Bentley, A Bowler

Technical information

The project aimed to create electronic copies of the texts and mark these up in XML, so they could be generated as HTML pages on the fly.

The content: 'Read texts'

Three versions of Odour of Chrysanthemums were converted to electronic text files using Optical Scanned Recognition (OCR). This process scans each page and transcribes the content into digital form, which is then manually checked against the original to ensure the software has created an accurate copy. The OCR software used was Abbyy FineReader 7.0.

One version was not considered for OCR capture and is available on this site as image only. It is a copy of Lawrence's original proof with corrections in pencil by the author.

To create re-usable content, the project converted these texts to XML, specifically the Text Encoding Initiative (TEI) standard. This XML markup has been used to define the structure of pages, headings, paragraphs, etc. An XSL file provides the formatting information for these texts.

The three text versions were broken down into episodes for further processing. Footnotes were created for the early part of the story and additional XML markup was introduced for linking to these footnote files.

Additional processing: 'Compare texts'

The aim was to provide 'guided comparisons' for some episodes, which would present the texts side-by-side and highlight the changes between them. This raised several issues:

In these comparisons, users can see all the changes highlighted for them, or else discover the changes for themselves by clicking on the text. This was achieved with Javascript and CSS styles.

The delivery

The site delivers HTML content using a combination of static pages and Active Server Pages (ASP), and is delivered from a Windows 2003 server running IIS 6 and ASP 3.0.

It has been checked for conformance with accessibility recommendations using the 'HTML Validator' add-on for Firefox, the online WAVE tool and the W3C markup validation service.


Copyright © 2008 University of Nottingham
Contact us
Valid CSS! Valid XHTML 1.0 Transitional