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

    Devoney Looser in Huntington Library Quarterly

    The experiment is unquestionably a successful one. Orlando‘s most obvious utility, as with the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, involves the ability to turn to its entries on more than 800 individual British women writers for specific biographical or bibliographical information. For example, Orlando‘s entry on Jane Austen or Frances Burney is in many ways more useful than the ODNB’s: it supplies more specific dates and employs a hierarchical structure that enables the reader to jump easily to specific portions of each entry. . . . Orlando, in that sense, offers one-stop biographical and book-historical shopping. Orlando’s unique value is in providing ‘materials [that] are capable of a high degree of interaction.’ To be sure, one can do a full-text search in the ODNB for the word ‘antiquarian’ or ‘bluestocking’ and come up with some surprising and valuable results, but in Orlando, the ability to quickly investigate not only such keywords but also circles of writers—particularly by tracing connections among individual writers (male and female)—is unprecedented. One can learn not only about interpersonal connections and literary influences but also about locations, events, occupations, genres, birth position, and other categories that link British women writers (and a smaller selection of male or non-British women writers) to each other.

    Two books under review in this essay: William McCarthy’s Anna Letitia Barbauld: Voice of the Enlightenment and Nicholas D. Smith’s The Literary Manuscripts and Letters of Hannah More.

    Devoney Looser, “Enlightenment Women’s Voices”, Huntington Library Quarterly 73:2 (June 2010), 295-302. (Available from JSTOR).

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      University of Alberta

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