The Victorian Women Writers Project (VWWP) was begun in 1995 at Indiana University under the determined leadership and editorship of Perry Willett. The VWWP was celebrated early on for exposing lesser-known British women writers of the 19th century, writers whose popularity did not make the transition into the 20th century or inclusion in a literary canon. Originally the VWWP focused on poetry, but soon Willett acknowledged the variety of genres in which women of that period were writing—novels, children’s books, political pamphlets, religious tracts and so on. Thus the collection was expanded to include genres beyond poetry and so the VWWP grew until about the turn of the twenty-first century, ultimately including nearly two hundred texts as part of the corpus.
Quiet since 2003, the VWWP is pleased to be back with an expanded purview that includes women writing in the nineteenth century in English beyond Britain. As before, the project will devote time and attention to the accuracy and completeness of the texts, as well as to their bibliographical descriptions. New texts, encoded according to the Text Encoding Initiative (TEI) P5 Guidelines, will adopt principles of scholarly encoding, facilitating more sophisticated retrieval and analysis.
Since 2010, the Victorian Women Writers Project has served as a pedagogical tool, imparting to English graduate and undergraduate students—at Indiana University and beyond—the critical and technical skills commonly employed by digital humanists. It has also served as a significant research tool to which the graduate and undergraduate students directly contribute. Their contributions include scholarly encoded texts, enhanced bibliographic access, and contextual materials such as scholarly annotations, introductions, and author biographies that shed further light on these little known women writers.
New features that are part of this release include: genre browse based on the Modern Language Association Thesaurus, an interactive timeline situating authors, publications and major events in historical context, and contextual materials authored by students.
Now available are approximately twenty encoded texts that were created as part of a new digital humanities seminar (ENG L501: Professional Scholarship in Literature: Digital Humanities Practicum) taught in the IU English department during the Fall 2010 semester under the fearless leadership of Professor Joss Marsh, also known as "the manager." Monographs by Mrs. M. Alexander, Mary Cholmondeley, Juliana Ewing, Fanny Kemble, and Anne Thackeray Ritchie are now part of the collection along with introductions to the these texts and biographies authored by the L501 graduate students. Since then, the VWWP editors have partnered with Judson College and Texas A & M for additional contributions to the project as part of their respective English courses and curricula. We look forward to establishing the VWWP as a reliable and respected pedagogical and scholarly online resource, and in turn growing and evolving the VWWP in the coming years.
To learn more about the technical details surrounding the new web site, please visit the project information page (http://webapp1.dlib.indiana.edu/vwwp/projectinfo.do ), where specifics about text encoding and technical implementation are provided. Or skip the boring stuff and explore the new web site: http://www.dlib.indiana.edu/collections/vwwp.
Stay tuned as we continue to add monographs and contextual materials over time!
Michelle, Co-Editor, VWWP
Michelle Dalmau, Digital Projects & Usability Librarian
Indiana University Digital Library Program
Herman B Wells Library