Victoria Research Web

Other Victorian Resources

General Guides

The Victorian section of Jack Lynch's helpful Literary Research Tools offers one list of useful links, as does Alan Liu's meta-page, Voice of the Shuttle. This introductory essay published in 1995 may now be of some historical interest!

Information about upcoming conferences and other events can frequently be found on the Victorian section of Penn's useful Call for Papers site, as well as NAVSA's blog, "Of Victorian Interest".

Victorian Studies Organizations

Some Major Sites

The Victorian Web
George Landow, a pioneer in the theory and practice of hypertext in the humanities, has created in The Victorian Web a splendid teaching and reference tool in the form of a growing encyclopedia of Victorian culture. Visitors to the site will find capsule summaries of many events, movements, and themes, with an emphasis upon Victorian literature and religion, written by leading scholars in the field. This hugely informative and well-designed site, a product of many hands, is by far the most comprehensive and widely praised Victorian resource on the Web. Amazingly, decades after its debut, the Victorian Web is still being updated by its original creator.

Livingstone Online: Illuminating Imperial Exploration
Adrian S. Wisnicki's Livingstone Online allows users to encounter the written, visual, and material legacies of the famous Victorian explorer, missionary, and abolitionist David Livingstone (1813-73)--and, even more importantly, their contexts.  The site features revelatory manuscript material only made available in recent years through spectral imaging of Livingstone's journals.  An innovative outgrowth of this important project, One More Voice, decenters Livingstone himself in order to bring attention and understanding to the long-neglected stories of the non-European people usually shunted to the margins of his story.
Reading Like a Victorian: Victorian Serial Novels
Created by Robyn Warhol of Ohio State University with assistance from her graduate student, Colleen Morrissey, this site brings the serial reading experience to its visitors through links to online facsimiles of such novels as Dombey and Son, The Woman in White, East Lynn, and many others. Timelines conceived as "stacks" of titles show at a glance which novels--and other publications--were coming out the same time, either in magazines or in numbers. A particular strength of the site is its easily accessible array of high-resolution reproductions of illustrations for each novel, with explanations about how editions differed. Dr. Warhol plans to include non-fiction works in future expansions of the project. Those looking for serials will also want to explore the University of Victoria Library's splendid collection.  Readers of Dickens should explore the wonderful Project Boz, which features readily accessible scans of all of Dickens's serial novels.

The Dante Gabriel Rossetti Archive
A pioneering (1993) project that aimed to create a vast multimedia hypertext archive of all of this astounding figure's writings and pictures, the Rossetti Archive is the work of a team led by renowned scholar Jerome McGann under the auspices of the Institute for Advanced Technology in the Humanities at the University of Virginia. The site contains thousands of images, texts, and commentaries. In 2008, the directors of the project declared it completed, and in 2012, Professor McGann announced that he would make no further updates to the site. In a similar project also associated in part with the IATH, editors Morris Eaves, Robert Essick, and Joseph Viscomi have overseen the creation of the ambitious William Blake Archive.

The Florence Nightingale Digitization Project
This project, begun in 2014, joins the online letter projects of the Carlyles, Darwin, and Dickens to bring us one of the great letter-writers of the Victorian period, a woman whose name had become a household word. Confined to her bed for years, Nightingale exercised enormous influence through her correspondence. A collaborative effort by the Howard Gotlieb Archival Research Center, the Florence Nightingale Museum in London, The Royal College of Nursing, and the Wellcome Library in London, this site brings together a (comparatively) small but fascinating sample of that correspondence, while inviting other repositories of Nightingale letters to join and share their own holdings.

The Carlyle Letters Online
One of the great editions of Victorian correspondence, The Collected Letters of Thomas and Jane Welsh Carlyle from Duke University Press has now been made available to everyone through a beautifully designed interface. Over 10,000 letters by the inimitable Carlyles can easily be browsed by date, subject, or recipient, or searched in a variety of ways. The survival of the Carlyle Letters Online depends on the generosity of users, so if you make use of this enormous bounty, please put something in the donation jar when you can.
The Complete Works of Charles Darwin Online, the Darwin Correspondence Project, and the Darwin Manuscripts Project
Between them, these three ambitious sites have published the most extensive set of texts and bibliographies available online for any Victorian figure. The "complete works" features over 50,000 searchable pages of writing, including many hard-to-find works by and about Darwin, and over 40,000 images, with much more planned. The smaller site associated with the correspondence project provides visitors with over 9,000 of the letters, including transcriptions of letters he received. The American Museum of Natural History, in collaboration with Cambridge University Library, has been hard at work digitizing Darwin's surviving manuscripts, including the 30 widely scattered manuscript remnants of the Origin of Species. Together, these projects make the writings of this great and good man more widely and deeply accessible than they have ever been, in a form that reflects the highest standards of modern textual scholarship.

The Huxley File
Nor is Darwin's great champion neglected. The late Charles Blinderman and his collaborator David Joyce, both of Clark University, assembled no fewer than 1,000 items (text and pictures) by and about Thomas Henry Huxley, including previously unpublished essays and a wide range of 19th-century commentaries on the man and his work.

Dickens Journals Online
Under the leadership of John Drew at the University of Buckingham, a team embarked in 2006 upon an ambitious plan to digitize, and manually proof, every article in the vastly popular and influential journals that Charles Dickens edited -- Household Words and All the Year Round -- and to make them available in fully searchable form in six years, in time for 2012, the 150th anniversary of Dickens's birth. With the help of dedicated "correctors" all over the world, they did it, and here it is. Replete with features and a joy to use, DJO will be a boon to Dickensian studies for years to come.
BRANCH: Britain, Representation, and Nineteenth-Century History
BRANCH, the brainchild of the indefatigable Dino Felluga of Purdue, aspires to provide no less than a peer-reviewed overview of British literature and culture from 1775 to 1925, including a timeline that branches out to include multiple perspectives on the same events. In practice this so far means an excellent online journal with a wide assortment of stimulating scholarly articles by several hands.
NINES: Nineteenth-Century Scholarship Online
The long-running, lavishly funded NINES project (it stands for Networked Infrastructure for Nineteenth-Century Electronic Scholarship) at the University of Virginia was created to encourage and support digital scholarship by providing software tools as well as a peer-review process. The site allows scholars to search and annotate selected online resources through its COLLEX interface. For those who speak "digital humanities" (a rather clubbish language group, alas) there is much to ponder here. NINES director Andrew Stauffer conducts a blog called The Hoarding.

Victorian Women Writers Project
Created by Perry Willett and his colleagues at Indiana University Libraries, Bloomington, in 1995, the VWWP aims to make available electronic texts of lesser known women writers of the period, prepared with scrupulous scholarly care. The project's library currently boasts over 150 texts by over fifty authors. Abandoned in 2003 after Willett's departure, the VWWP was revived in 2010 and relaunched with new search tools and features in 2012. Similarly, the British Women Romantic Poets Project at the University of California, Davis, likewise sought to make available texts of hard-to-find poems from the period 1789-1832. There have been no reports of updates, alas, since 2002.

Greenwood's Map of London 1827, and other map projects
Now based at Harvard, Mark Annand's digital version of Greenwood's map of London provides a range of tools that allows visitors to explore the byways of early-nineteenth-century London in fascinating detail. More recent and equally astonishing is this rare, recently discovered map of London from 1868, from David Hale and MAPCO, that allows one to call up truly high-resolution views. In a development that John Tallis fans have been dreaming of for years, the Museum of London offers a brilliant interactive digitization of Tallis's London Street Views (1840). Finally, Mathew Sangster has created Romantic London, featuring an interactive digital version of Richard Horwood's London maps of 1792-99 "showing every house" (as Horwood aptly described them), supplemented with early 19th-century texts describing the city.

Charles Booth's 1889 Descriptive Map of London Poverty
Building on the pioneering efforts of Mark Annand and others, David Wayne Thomas and Sabiha Ahmad have made it possible to explore late nineteenth-century London as laid out in Booth's celebrated color-coded map of the city. The supporting materials for the site are currently being assembled and the site will soon move to a permanent location but the map itself, allowing visitors to zoom in on specific sections, is a marvel. Those wishing to delve further into Booth's aims and methods have a marvelous set of resources available from the London School of Economics's Charles Booth Online Archive, which features a rich variety of archival materials in searchable form. Quite apart from its intrinsic usefulness, this site demonstrates what can be accomplished when existing archival collection descriptions, instead of being merely scanned and transferrred online, are thoughtfully adapted in ways that make the most of the online environment.

Bob Speel's pages on Victorian art and artists
focus particular attention on the PRB, and feature an exhibit of paintings by women artists, lists of Victorian painters, and a guide to finding Victorian artworks in museums all over England.

Romantic Circles
An ambitious site devoted to Byron, Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley, Percy Bysshe Shelley, Keats, and "their contemporaries and historical contexts." Designed for scholarly interaction and featuring reliably edited e-texts and other resources, RC made its official debut at the NASSR conference in November 1996. Over ten years later, it has come to host a number of extraordinarily useful and meticulously edited materials for all students of the 19th century, including (to name but two) Letitia Landon's Verses and Keepsake for 1829 and the indispensable Quarterly Review Archive.

The 19th-Century London Stage: An Exploration
A remarkable feat of research organized in imaginative hypertext form, this site was created by PhD. students at the University of Washington School of Drama, working under the direction of Professor Jack Wolcott.
UPDATE: When Professor Wolcott retired in 2004, he expected that the University of Washington would leave these webpages on the university's server, much as a library book would remain on the shelf. Instead, all of the files associated with this much admired and widely referenced collaborative resource, which had been in progress since 1995, were simply deleted. Thanks to the the Internet Archive's Wayback Machine we can still glimpse fragments of this valuable project, but they are only fragments. I leave the description here as a reminder of the extreme fragility of online scholarly resources.

The Yellow Nineties Online
Lorraine Janzen Kooistra and Denis Denisoff have created a wonderful teaching and study resource for anyone interested in the Aesthetic movement of the 1890s. Here can be found entire searchable and downloadable editions of movement periodicals, from the well-known Yellow Book to the virtually unknown Evergreen, with more on the way.

The Victorian Plays Project
A boon to students of Victorian theatre everywhere, this impressive resource, begun in 2006 under the direction of Richard Pearson at the University of Worcester (now at the National University of Ireland, Galway), makes available the full texts of dozens of plays and burlesques that before now could be found in most research libraries, if found at all, only on microfilm or microfiche. Much more than merely a collection of e-texts, the project also reproduces successive editions of Lacy's Acting Edition of Plays published between 1848 and 1874, thereby providing a much-needed catalogue of often obscure plays, dramatists, and performances.

Trenches on the Web
Subtitled "An Internet History of the Great War," the late Mike Iavarone's pages are a model of how to make a historical website both exciting to casual visitors and useful to scholars and teachers. With an exemplary site map and thematic "tours," the pages, now managed by the Great War Society, make an extraordinarily diverse collection of articles, sources, and images readily accessible and easily browsable.

Footlight Notes
For devotees of British music hall there is no more delightful or informative browsing to be had than John Culme's "Footlight Notes," an online newsletter about popular entertainment in the English-speaking world from the 1850s to the 1920s. Combining biographies of performers with a marvelous collection of photographs, Mr. Culme brings an infectious enthusiasm to the task of memorializing the culture of this vanished era. Although the site (which began in 1994) was last updated in 2013, fans and serious students of theater history alike will still find much here to enjoy.
The Industrial Revolution and the Railway System
Created by Mt. Holyoke student Julia Lee and extended and maintained by Professor Robert Schwartz, this fine site combines reports of original research in progress with a wide range of images and excerpts, most notably a beautifully designed section devoted to articles and engravings about various aspects of Victorian railways culled from the Illustrated London News.
Dr. John Snow
Dr. Ralph R. Frerichs of UCLA's Department of Epidemiology has explored the dramatic career of the legendary John Snow--the man who discovered how the deadly cholera was spread--in fascinating detail in this richly informative multimedia site. Frerichs skilfully combines primary materials with the latest historical research and epidemiological news to illuminate Victorian public health and medicine.
The Dictionary of Victorian London
Lee Jackson's enormous, indispensable, and still growing site features an enjoyable collection of excerpts from a range of Victorian sources, organized by aspects of life in the city, from "Advertising" to "Words and Expressions." Included, too, is the whole of the indispensable handbook from which the site takes its name: the younger Charles Dickens's Dictionary of London of 1879. David Perdue's ingenious Map of Dickens's London features links for each site to both Lee Jackson's page and the more detailed maps on Ralph Frerichs's pages.

Other Resources of Interest

For a more comprehensive listing of Victorian websites, see one of the general guides noted at the top of this page; resources for various kinds of 19th-century research can of course be found throughout the VRW, while links to museums and other places of Victorian interest can be found on the research trip page. What follows here is a modest selection of useful, entertaining, and unusual webpages, including some smaller sites that tend to get lost in the shuffle of the big meta-page listings.

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