Related Projects

The Orlando Project differs from most of these initiatives in that we are structuring and electronically encoding scholarly work which is in the process of being written, rather than texts that are already written.

The project most closely related to Orlando is CWRC, the Canadian Writing and Research Collaboratory / Le Collaboratoire scientifique des écrits du Canada. This infrastructure project builds on Orlando’s expertise in collaborative online scholarly production and its semantic tagging of interpretative material, to provide a digital working environment for the worldwide community of Canadian humanities scholars and researchers.

Cambridge University Press is producing a series entitled Cambridge Library Collection, which makes non-fictional texts from the past available in electronic or print-on-demand format. Some texts by women are gathered in a particular section, others scattered throughout other sections. Here too Orlando provides links.

The Women Writers Project, now at Northeastern University, is an electronic textbase of women’s writing in English before 1830, currently available by subscription. The difference between this project and Orlando is that they are editing women’s texts, while we are writing a history. Orlando incorporates links to many of these texts from its passages of comment about them.

A Celebration of Women Writers provides a comprehensive listing of links to on-line information about women writers. It also develops on-line editions of works by women writers.

The Emory Women Writers Resource Project is a collection of edited and unedited texts by women writing from the seventeenth century through the early twentieth century.

The Perdita Project produced a database guide to about 400 sixteenth- and seventeenth-century manuscript archives compiled by women in the British Isles.

The Victorian Women Writers Project offers TEI-encoded transcriptions of literary works by nineteenth-century women writers, mostly British and primarily the lesser-known.

Chawton House Library is a research centre in early women’s writing at Chawton, UK, opened in 2003, with a library of rare books. Some are already freely available online; the fifty rarest texts in the collection are scheduled for electronic availability. Orlando incorporates links to these from its textbase.

The Oxford Text Archive, an archive of literary texts, is maintained by Oxford University Computing Services.

The Margot Group at the University of Waterloo is producing texts from the French Middle Ages and Early Modern writers (particularly women), and Latin texts much used by such writers.

The Contemporary Women’s Writing Network (CWWN) is an online forum that promotes research and exchange of ideas among those interested in contemporary women’s writing.

Middlebrow: An Interdisciplinary Transatlantic Research Network, an “AHRC-funded project that provides a focus for research on the loaded and disreputable term ‘middlebrow’ and the areas of cultural production it purports to represent. The network is both transatlantic and interdisciplinary.”

The Stainforth Library of Women Writers is creating a digital model of the Rev. Francis John Stainforth’s collection of books by women writers: the largest private library of such books in the nineteenth century.

    Reviews of Orlando

    Susan Fraiman in Modern Philology

    Opening up Orlando reminds me of first seeing Judy Chicago’s installation The Dinner Party (a work likewise remarkable in form as much as content)—three decades later, it is still thrilling and affirming to have women’s countless contributions to Western culture and society made visible. What is new in the twenty-first century, however, is that now the guest list of history-making women is electronic—and there are always more seats at the table. In this sense, Orlando goes beyond earlier constructions of alternative canons, whose printed form tended to reproduce hierarchies of “major” and “minor” writers, not to mention the naturalization of a fixed tradition (143).

    We might say, then, that Orlando’s narrative is grand not in its seamless hegemony but rather in its tireless productivity. Ceding narratorial agency to each user, this is a women’s history intrinsically committed to a process of continual revision and multiplication of variants (144).

    Flexible, practical, and worldly in its approach to identity politics, Orlando is a good example of what I have optimistically begun to call the New Women’s Studies: feminist scholarship willing once again to proceed under the sign of “women”—not in defiance of theoretical work disaggregating “women” and destabilizing “identity” but precisely through having engaged with and processed this work to the point of making it our common sense (146).

    Susan Fraiman. “In Search of Our Mothers’ Gardens—With Help from a New Digital Resource for Literary Scholars,” Modern Philology, August 2008, 142-48. (Available from Chicago Journals).
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      University of Alberta

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