British Literary Manuscripts Online, c. 1660-1900
The first release of the series, British Literary Manuscripts Online, c. 1660-1900, includes more than 400,000 pages of manuscripts drawn from a number of major library collections. To create the collection, Gale has digitized several microfilm sets originally created by Primary Source Media.
Having these rare materials available in digital format provides all the benefits researchers expect from an online resource, such as searchable descriptive metadata; direct links from catalog entries to manuscripts; the ability to create permanent links to materials of specific interest; and much more.
A look inside
British Literary Manuscripts Online, c. 1660-1900 offers an intimate look into the lives and works of major literary figures from the Restoration through the Victorian era. Everyone from serious researchers to casual readers will find a unique perspective on the history, culture and context of more than two centuries of British literary achievement. Among the highlights of the collection are:
- Several autograph manuscripts of Alexander Pope, including his translation of Homer's Iliad
- William Blake's notebook known as "The Rossetti Manuscript," with early drafts of the "Songs of Experience," "The Everlasting Gospel," "The Vision of the Last Judgement" and "The Public Address," along with manuscripts of "The Four Zoas" and "The Phoenix."
- Partial drafts of Fanny Burney's novel Camilla as well as assorted letters and poems
- Samuel Johnson's journals from travels in Wales and France
- 156 poems of Robert Burns, including the autograph draft of his last major narrative poem, "Tam O'Shanter"
- Thomas Carlyle's letters expressing his sympathy for the urban poor
- Complete manuscript drafts of 12 of Charles Dickens's major novels, including A Tale of Two Cities, Bleak House, David Copperfield, Hard Times, Little Dorrit and Oliver Twist. The collection also includes page and galley proofs of Great Expectations and Nicholas Nickleby
- Complete autograph manuscripts of Charlotte Bronte's Jane Eyre, Shirley, and Villette, and autograph copies three of her early unpublished stories and of Emily Bronte’s Gondal Poems. "
- Partial manuscript drafts of several of Sir Walter Scott's novels, including Ivanhoe and Castle Dangerous, as well as numerous poems and his Life of Napoleon
- Original typescripts of Oscar Wilde's The Picture of Dorian Gray and Mrs. Arbuthnot (A Woman of No Importance) with the author's corrections and emendations
Letters and papers of William Cowper, Charles Dickens, Edward Gibbon, Elizabeth Montagu, Samuel Richardson, Jonathan Swift and Hester Thrale Piozzi
British Literary Manuscripts Online has been designed with the generous assistance and advice of the following scholars and academic librarians:
- Charlotte Cubbage, Humanities Coordinator and Subject Specialist for English, Comparative Literatures, and the Performing Arts, Northwestern University Library, Evanston, Illinois
- James L. Harner, Samuel Rhea Gammon Professor of Liberal Arts at Texas A & M University; Editor, World Shakespeare Bibliography
- Susan Schreibman, Director of the Digital Humanities Observatory, Dublin, Ireland
- Ray Siemens, Canada Research Chair in Humanities Computing and Professor of English at the University of Victoria, British Columbia
- Henry Woudhuysen, Dean, Faculty of Arts and Humanities, University College London, England; general overseer and principal advisor to the Catalogue of English Literary Manuscripts 1450-1700
About the source libraries
Sources include some of the most prestigious collections in the world, such as the British Library; the Forster and Dyce Collections, Victoria and Albert Museum, London; the National Library of Scotland; the Folger Shakespeare Library, Washington, D.C.; Princeton University Library, Princeton, New Jersey; the Huntington Library, San Marino, California; and William Andrew Clark Memorial Library, University of California Los Angeles. Read more about the source libraries
Source Microfilm Collections include:
- British Literary Manuscripts from the British Library (Series 1 & 2: c.1500-1800); items dated after 1660.
- British Literary Manuscripts from the Folger Shakespeare Library, c. 1500-1700; items dated after 1660
- British Literary Manuscripts from the National Library of Scotland, c. 1300-1882; items dated after 1660
- The European Romantic Tradition: The Sir Walter Scott Manuscripts
- British Literary Manuscripts from Princeton University Library: William Cowper and others
- Bronte Manuscripts
- Forster and Dyce Collections from the National Art Library at the Victoria and Albert Museum (Parts 1-5; c. 1500-1900); items dated after 1660
- The Oscar Wilde Collection (UCLA)
For more information on the source microfilm collections, please see the title list.