Literary Resources and Projects

British Library, Turning the Pages (London: Armadillo) <http://www.bl.uk/onlinegallery/virtualbooks/viewall/index.html> [Accessed 8 October 2014]

  • Digital recreations of manuscripts including: William Blake’s Notebook; Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures Under Ground; Jane Austen’s Early Work. There are also manuscripts from the worlds of science, music, natural history and religion.
  • High quality images that reproduce the 3D book, the user can turn the pages of the book manually via mouse or touchscreen controls.
  • Toggle controls for context and transcripts.
  • Audio options: readings of the transcripts and the contextual material.
  • Ability to rotate, zoom, etc. give some idea of the physical shape of the manuscript.

 

Center for Digital Research in the Humanities, The Walt Whitman Archive (Lincoln: University of Nebraska) <http://whitmanarchive.org/> [Accessed 10 November 2014]

  • Archive of published works, manuscripts in Whitman’s hand, and letters.
  • High quality images with a rudimentary zoom function.
  • Some metadata for the images.
  • 128 portraits of Whitman (navigation system very basic).
  • Audio recording of Whitman reading ‘America’ and some other readings by Eric Forsythe.
  • Critical commentary, reviews, bibliography and other contextual materials (some available to download as PDF).
  • Many other resources including finding aids, a guide to the poetry manuscripts and teaching aids.
  • Uses TokenX, a text analysis tool customised for the archive, which allows a wide range of data about Whitman’s work to be captured using XML and XSLT.

 

Lancaster University, Mapping the Lakes: A Literary GIS (Lancaster: Lancaster University) <http://www.lancaster.ac.uk/mappingthelakes/> [Accessed 8 October 2014]

  • An academic project mapping the Lakeland journeys of Coleridge and Gray using GIS (Geographic Information System) to visualise the texts.
  • Excellent breadth of material including writing on methodology, a variety of maps, Google Map overlays, a detailed bibliography and a glossary of key terms.
  • There are no digitised manuscripts in this project.

 

National Library of Australia, Trove: Digitised Newspapers (Canberra: NLA) <https://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper> [Accessed 10 November 2014]

  • Crowdsourcing project to transcribe Australian newspapers and check the accuracy of optical character recognition (OCR) scans.
  • High quality black and white images.
  • Ability to download PDFs of complete newspapers.

 

National Library of Ireland, The Life and Works of William Butler Yeats Online Exhibition (Dublin: NLI, 2006) <http://www.nli.ie/yeats/> [Accessed 8 October 2014]

  • 3D representation of the exhibition space.
  • A large variety of resources including: videos; readings; photographs; manuscripts; and objects. The display cases are clickable, leading to a ‘virtual shelf’ where the resources can be explored in more detail.
  • Plenty of contextual and other supporting information.
  • While image quality is very high, they cannot be manipulated in any way (i.e. there is no way to zoom in). Some objects can be seen, in separate images, from different angles.
  • User interface is extremely easy to use.

 

National Library of Wales, Cymru 1914 Project (Aberystwyth: NLW) <http://cymru1914.org/en/> [Accessed 23 October 2014]

  • Digital manuscripts, newspapers, correspondence, photographs and more from a range of archives.
  • Very high image quality.
  • Ability to click on individual articles in the digitised newspapers for a transcript.
  • Translation tool for Welsh language papers.
  • Not much contextual writing.

 

University College London, Transcribe Bentham (London: UCL) <http://blogs.ucl.ac.uk/transcribe-bentham/> [Accessed 10 November 2014]

  • Project using crowdsourcing to transcribe Jeremy Bentham’s manuscripts.
  • Uses Wikipedia-style interface.
  • Ranks public users on their transcription, giving some incentive.
  • Also provides very high-quality images of manuscripts, with zoom function.
  • Each manuscript has metadata.
  • Contains information on Bentham’s biography, palaeography, and instructional text on how to read the manuscripts.

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