About At the Circulating Library


At the Circulating Library (ATCL) was created by Troy J. Bassett, professor of English and Linguistics at Purdue University Fort Wayne (PFW), to provide biographical and bibliographical data about the countless authors, publishers, and novels of the Victorian period (1837-1901). It has been greatly inspired by the two bibliographical websites British Fiction 1800-1829 and The English Novel, 1830-36. ATCL aims to continue where these two predecessors end. In addition, the website draws heavily on John Sutherland's brilliant and indispensable book The Stanford Companion to Victorian Fiction as a model for its entries.

The beta version of the website appeared in summer 2007 with a test database of approximately 1700 titles. In 2008, the database began including serialization information. As of September 2009, the database accounted for all of the three-volume novels published during the Victorian period. As of October 2010, the database accounted for all of the two- and four-volume novels published during the Victorian period. In January 2014 the database surpassed 10,000 title entries. In January 2015 the database included serializations from over 200 periodicals. In May 2017 the database surpassed 14,000 title entries. In June 2018 the database was updated to PHP 7, got a new design, and surpassed 16,000 titles, including two completed benchmark years (all titles added) of 1838 and 1862. Currently adding titles from the benchmark years of 1851, 1873, 1884, and 1901.


The project has been funded by:

A special thank you to Patrick Leary who generously hosts ATCL at his website Victoria Research Web. The current design was developed by PFW student Nessa Drennen. I would also like to thank the following individuals for their corrections, help, and support: John Addy, Jonathan Arnold, Richard Beaton, Allison Belzer, Derrick Brown, Glenda Browne, Lou Burnard, Cheryl Butler, David Alfred Bywaters, Christopher Bryant, Bill Bryson, Valerie M. Buck, Turtle Bunbury, Martha Burgin, Tim Chamberlain, Mike Clark, Philip Cohen, Mimi Collegian, Jonathan Cooper, Jen R. Crowell, Chris Curling, Sara R. Danger, Wilfried Decoo, Michael Demy-Geroe, Tony Drewry, Carl Drummond, Simon Eliot, Dorice Williams Elliott, Sue Etherington, Nick Fielding, David Finkelstein, Kathryn Fortescue, Judith Gardiner, Peter Garside, Rowan Gibbs, Phil Harper, Judith Harris, Katherine D. Harris, Sally Harrower, John Heap, Dorothy O. Helly, John Henderson, John Herrington, Clare Horrocks, Linda K. Hughes, Naomi Hunt, Alan John, Andrew King, Linda King, Andrew Kopec, Christina Kreeger, Graham Law, Martin Laverty, Patrick Leary, Timothy Leonard, Marie Leger-St.-Jean, Christopher Lennon, Jean-Jacques Leroy, Kirsten Macleod, Anthony Mandal, Alan Merryweather, Charlotte Mitchell, John C. Moran, David J. Murnaghan, Robert L. Patten, Jennifer Phegley, Letitia Pollard, Catherine Pope, Susan Priestley, Jonathan Rose, Matthew Rubery, Stephan Rudolf, Lyman T. Sargent, Sharin Faith Schroeder, Jennifer Scott, Patrick Scott, Mercedes M. Sheldon, Jennifer Sonner, Patrick Spedding, Ana Squire, Michael Stapleton, Michael Statham, Levana Taylor, Jessica Terekhov, Alan Stuart-Tilley, John Sutherland, Grant Thompson, Colin Wallace, Harold Wilson, Daphne Wing, Zoe Wolstenholme, Laurence Worms, and Brian Youmans.

In addition, I would like to thank the staff of the following libraries for their help: Allen County Public Library, the British Library, the Harry Ransom Center at the University of Texas, Indiana University Library, the National Library of Scotland, the Spencer Research Library at the University of Kansas, the University of Cambridge Library, the University of Illinois Special Collections, and the University of Reading Special Collections.


If you would like to contribute corrections, data entry, author biographies, publisher biographies, title summaries, or serialization information, please contact Troy J. Bassett (bassettt@pfw.edu).

How to Cite

Bassett, Troy J. At the Circulating Library: A Database of Victorian Fiction, 1837-1901. 28 January 2022. Victorian Research Web. [date of access] (http://www.victorianresearch.org/atcl).

About the Illustration

The illustration is a detail from "Light Reading with a Vengeance" which appeared in the 27 January 1877 issue of Punch, found on-line at The Victorian Web (photo credit to George Landow).

Technical Notes

This website was written on a Macintosh using a MySQL database and PHP 7. The data visualizations were created by Google Charts (available through Google Developer tools).