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English and American Literature: Digital Collections and Digital Humanities projects (open access)
A resource guide for the study of English and American Literature.
Digital Collections and Digital Humanities Projects (open access)
This is a selection of literature-related digital collections and digital humanities projects available for free on the web. These resources do not require an NYU login. If you locate a project not listed here, please let me know so that I can include it on the list: email@example.com
African American Women Writers of the 19th Century is a digital collection of published works by 19th-century black women writers. Part of the Digital Schomburg collection from the New York Public Library, this collection provides access to the thought, perspectives and creative abilities of black women as captured in books and pamphlets published prior to 1920.
At the Circulating Library (ATCL) was created by Troy J. Bassett, assistant professor of English and Linguistics at Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne, to provide biographical and bibliographical data about the countless authors, publishers, and novels of the Victorian period (1837-1901).
The Bodleian Library has unparalleled holdings of over 30,000 ballads in several major collections. The original printed materials range from the 16th- to the 20th-Century. The Broadside Ballads project makes the digitised copies of the sheets and ballads available to the research community.
DEEP: Database of Early English Playbooks allows scholars and students to investigate the publishing, printing, and marketing of English Renaissance drama in ways not possible using any other print or electronic resource. An easy-to-use and highly customizable search engine of every playbook produced in England, Scotland, and Ireland from the beginning of printing through 1660, DEEP provides a wealth of information about the original playbooks, their title-pages, paratextual matter, advertising features, bibliographic details, and theatrical backgrounds.
Digital Thoreau is a resource and a community dedicated to promoting the deliberate reading of Thoreau's works in new ways, ways that take advantage of technology to illuminate Thoreau's creative process and facilitate thoughtful conversation about his words and ideas.
This site provides a clearinghouse for discovering and sharing links to eighteenth-century primary materials. Eighteenth-Century Book Tracker aims to build a database of bibliographically accurate records that link to freely-available texts online. By pooling its users’ expertise, the site brings bibliographical order to the sometimes haphazard world of mass digitization. This site is devoted to preserving the identity of eighteenth-century books in a digital realm where such distinctions are at risk of being lost in a sea of mere text.
The Eighteenth-Century Poetry Archive is a collaborative digital archive and research project devoted to the poetry of the long eighteenth century. ECPA builds on the electronic texts created by the Text Creation Partnership from Gale’s Eighteenth Century Collections Online (ECCO). ECPA was founded and is edited by Alexander Huber, Bodleian Libraries, University of Oxford (editor of the Thomas Gray Archive).
From the University of California Santa Barbara. The EBBA team’s priority is to archive all of the surviving ballads published during the heyday of the black-letter ornamental broadside ballad of the 17th century—estimated to stand at some 8,000 extant works.
The Folger Shakespeare brings you the complete works of the world’s greatest playwright, edited for modern readers. On this site, which is the successor to the ground-breaking Folger Digital Texts, you can enjoy resources that further illuminate Shakespeare’s writings and invite you into his world. For example, you can learn about Shakespeare’s life, see images drawn from the Folger’s collection, or hear audio clips of play lines performed.
The Internet Archive was founded to build an Internet library. Its purposes include offering permanent access for researchers, historians, scholars, people with disabilities, and the general public to historical collections that exist in digital format.
Jane Austen's Fiction Manuscripts, a joint project of the University of Oxford and King’s College London, gathers digital images of 1100 pages of fiction written in Jane Austen’s own hand. Searchable transcriptions of the manuscripts are included.
The Lost Plays Database is a wiki-style forum for scholars to share information about lost plays in England, 1570-1642. Plays can be browsed by title, author, year, theater company, or venue; each play's page summarizes the surviving documentation of its existence.
The Herman Melville Electronic Library (MEL) is a collection of digitized versions of texts by Herman Melville, with some images of Melville's manuscripts and plans for the development of digital tools. MEL is being developed and maintained by a group of Melville scholars and digital specialists.
The Middle English Compendium has been designed to offer easy access to and interconnectivity between three major Middle English electronic resources: an electronic version of the Middle English Dictionary, a HyperBibliography of Middle English prose and verse, based on the MED bibliographies, and a Corpus of Middle English Prose and Verse, as well as links to an associated network of electronic resources.
The MJP is a multi-faceted project that aims to be a major resource for the study of modernism and its rise in the English-speaking world, with periodical literature as its central concern. The historical scope of the project has a chronological range of 1890 to 1922 (though the earliest journals that currently appear on the site date from 1896 and 1904), and a geographical range that extends to wherever English language periodicals were published.
Contains over 600,000 digitized items from the collections of the New York Public Library. This site is a living database with new materials added every day, featuring prints, photographs, maps, manuscripts, streaming video, and more.
NINES (Networked Infrastructure for Nineteenth-Century Electronic Scholarship) is a scholarly organization devoted to forging links between the material archive of the nineteenth century and the digital research environment of the twenty-first.
The Princeton Prosody Archive is a full-text searchable database of thousands of digitized books in English published between 1570 and 1923. The Archive collects historical documents and highlights discourses about the study of language, the study of poetry, and where and how these intersect and diverge.
Radical Scatters, developed by Marta Werner and hosted at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, is a collection of digitized facsimiles and transcripts of over one hundred fragmentary texts composed by Emily Dickinson between 1870 and 1886. Documents can be searched and browsed in a variety of ways. The site also includes critical introductions to the fragments.
The Rossetti Archive facilitates the scholarly study of Dante Gabriel Rossetti, the painter, designer, writer, and translator who was, according to both John Ruskin and Walter Pater, the most important and original artistic force in the second half of the nineteenth century in Great Britain. The Rossetti Archive aims to include high-quality digital images of every surviving documentary state of DGR's works: all the manuscripts, proofs, and original editions, as well as the drawings, paintings, and designs of various kinds, including his collaborative photographic and craft works. These primary materials are transacted with a substantial body of editorial commentary, notes, and glosses.
Shakespeare Documented is the largest and most authoritative collection of primary-source materials documenting the life of William Shakespeare (1564-1616), bringing together all known manuscript and print references to Shakespeare, his works, and additional references to his family, in his lifetime and shortly thereafter. A project of the Folger Shakespeare Library, the Bodleian Library, the British Library, the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust, and the National Archives.
The Shelley-Godwin Archive will provide the digitized manuscripts of Percy Bysshe Shelley, Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley, William Godwin, and Mary Wollstonecraft, bringing together online for the first time ever the widely dispersed handwritten legacy of this uniquely gifted family of writers. The result of a partnership between the New York Public Library and the Maryland Institute for Technology in the Humanities, in cooperation with Oxford’s Bodleian Library, the S-GA also includes key contributions from the Huntington Library, the British Library, and the Houghton Library.
Charles Pfaff's beer cellar in lower Manhattan was a magnet for some of the most unconventional and creative individuals of nineteenth-century New York City, including Walt Whitman, poet and actress Adah Isaacs Menken, journalist and social critic Henry Clapp, playwright John Brougham, and artist Elihu Vedder. The Vault at Pfaff's is bringing together in one place the poetry, drama, art, fiction, and social commentary that the Pfaff's bohemians produced, including The New York Saturday Press, the weekly periodical that served as the group's literary organ during this period.
The Victorian Web presents its images and documents, including entire books, as nodes in a network of complex connections. In other words, it emphasizes the link rather than the search tool (though it has one) and presents information linked to other information rather than atomized and isolated. Originally begun back in 1987 as a means of helping scholars and students in see connections between different fields, the site today has greatly expanded the kinds of connections one can find. For example, on this site commentary on the works of Charles Dickens exists linked to his life and contemporary social and political history, drama, religion, book illustration, economics, and so forth.
The Victorian Women Writers Project (VWWP) began in 1995 at Indiana University and is primarily concerned with the exposure of lesser-known British women writers of the 19th century. The collection represents an array of genres - poetry, novels, children's books, political pamphlets, religious tracts, histories, and more. VWWP contains scores of authors, both prolific and rare.
The Mellon-funded Visualizing English Print (VEP) project joins computer scientists and literary scholars to scale textual analysis and visualization to increasingly large corpora, beginning with the early modern period. It strives to make early modern texts accessible for computational analysis. Furthermore, its purpose is to design tools to support the workflow of of humanist scholars.
The Walt Whitman Archive is an electronic research and teaching tool that sets out to make Whitman's vast work, for the first time, easily and conveniently accessible to scholars, students, and general readers. Whitman, America's most influential poet and one of the four or five most innovative and significant writers in United States history, is the most challenging of all American authors in terms of the textual difficulties his work presents.
The Willa Cather Archive, a project of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln Libraries, is an ambitious endeavor to create a rich, useful, and widely-accessible site for the study of Willa Cather's life and writings. It includes digital editions of Cather texts, biographical information, and scholarship available for free to the public.
The diaries in this digital collection were written by British and American women who documented their travels to places around the globe, including India, the West Indies, countries in Europe, Africa, and the Middle East, as well as around the United States.
The Yellow Nineties Online is an open-access electronic resource for the study of avant-garde aesthetic periodicals of the British fin de siècle. Searchable facsimile editions allow users to analyze physical features as well as content, and the editors write a critical introduction for each volume to situate it in its moment of production and reception. Contextual study of these magazines is enhanced by a searchable archive of 1890s reviews and advertisements, as well as by peer-reviewed biographies of contributors and associates written by international experts in the field.