EARLY MODERN

LITERATURE RESOURCES

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EARLY MODERN

LITERATURE RESOURCES

Edited by Anna Hegland, with contributions from Dr Amy Blakeway (University of St Andrews), Dr Daniel Starza Smith (King's College London), and the students and staff of the MA in Early Modern English Literature: Text and Transmission (King's College London)
Digital Texts

The Acts and Monuments Online (TAMO) compares the unabridged texts of the four editions of this massive work published in John Foxe’s lifetime (1563, 1570, 1576, 1583).

Beware the Cat is a practice-as-research project based on William Baldwin’s 1552 novel that combines the work of practitioners in the Fine Arts, Theatre, Literature, and Linguistics at the University of Sheffield. Researchers have put together a blog, images, and performance materials on their site.

The Catalogue of English Literary Manuscripts, 1450-1700 provides a complete catalogue of literary manuscripts by 237 British authors of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. The 37,000 manuscript texts available include poems, plays, discourses, and translations, as well as notebooks, annotated printed books, corrected proofs, promptbooks, letters, documents and other related manuscript materials found in public and private collections world-wide.

 

The Cecil Papers is a database of early-modern historical documents from the reigns of Elizabeth I and James I/VI. Searchable documents span the period 1520-1668, from the birth of William Cecil, Lord Burghley, to the death of William Cecil, 2nd Earl of Salisbury.

Cultures of Knowledge was a collaborative, interdisciplinary research project based at the University of Oxford which used digital methods to reassemble and interpret the letters and correspondence networks of the early modern period.

Digital Cavendish is a collaborative project intended to highlight research, images, and other scholarly materials focused on the life and writings of Margaret Cavendish, Duchess of Newcastle.

English Broadside Ballad Archive (EBBA) is a digital archive of seventeenth-century broadside ballads, which are fully accessible as texts, art, music and cultural records.

 

Early English Books Online (EEBO) is a searchable database of digitized books and printed materials produced in the British Isles and North America between 1470-1700. EEBO has recently transitioned from Chadwyck-Healey to a new hosted site through Proquest, and their libguide provides more information (and tutorials) on using the new site. (Kent login required)

Early Stuart Libels is a web-based edition of early seventeenth-century political poetry from manuscript sources. It brings into the public domain over 350 poems, many of which have never before been published.

 

Eighteenth Century Collections Online (ECCO) is a searchable database of digitized books and printed materials published between 1701 and 1800, including all significant English language and foreign titles published in the UK and a substantial number from North America. The collection spans such topics as history and geography; the fine arts; science, technology, and medicine; literature and language; philosophy and religion; and law. (Kent login required)

The English Emblem Book Project is a collection of printed cultural artifacts, digitized by the University of Pennsylvania, which gives access to emblem books frequently used in the analysis of reading practices, printing history, Elizabethan popular culture, the use of allegory, and the relationship of word to image.

 

The English Short Title Catalogue (ESTC) contains bibliographic information for all texts (1) Printed before 1801; (2) Printed in the British Isles, Colonial America, United States of America (1776-1800), Canada, or territories governed by Britain, in all languages; (3) Printed in any other part of the world, wholly or partly in English or other British vernaculars; (4) With false imprints claiming publication in London, in any language. It also lists some surviving copies in major collections.

The Grand Tour is a collection of primary and secondary literary sources related to travel, as well as artwork, photographs, and maps, dated between 1550 and 1850.

The Holinshed Project examines Tudor historiography, 1577/87, a great source for Elizabethan literature, history and politics.

Lexicons of Early Modern English (LEME) searches and displays word-entries from monolingual English dictionaries, bilingual lexicons, technical vocabularies, and other encyclopedic-lexical works, 1480-1755.


Literature Online (LION) hosts the full text versions of over 350,000 literary works, including drama, prose, and poetry, stretching from the eighth century to the present day.

 

Luminarium is an online anthology of medieval, Renaissance, Restoration, and eighteenth century English literature, featuring writers from Chaucer to William Cowper.

 

Orlando provides entries on women’s lives and writing careers, contextual material, timelines, sets of internal links, and bibliographies. Entries are limited to those women living and writing in the British Isles. (Kent login may be required)


Perdita Manuscripts: Women Writers, 1500-1700 identifies and describes writing by early modern women, from diaries to works of drama. The Perdita Project covers poetry, religious writing, autobiographical material, cookery and medical recipes, and accounts. The project is jointly managed by the University of Warwick and Nottingham Trent University.

The Pulter Project, hosted by Northwestern University, focuses on the poetry of Hester Pulter and seeks to pull back the editorial curtain to reveal to readers the often invisible decisions underwriting the making of poetry and poets.

The Universal Short Title Catalogue (USTC), hosted by the University of St Andrews, contains bibliographic information for texts produced in the early modern period across Europe and Asia. The collection is regularly updated and contains references from 8,500 libraries, archives and museums across the world.

 
Other Resources

A Bit Lit provides short video conversations on literature, art-making, and creative practice. Their library of videos engages with and is intended for scholars of all career levels.

Early Modern Female Book Ownership features blog posts about books owned by women between 1500 and 1750. The site serves as a record of such texts.

Early Modern Hands is a database intended to help identify hands, making them searchable by criteria like the writer's name, gender, age, social status, profession, and location.

The Folger Library has compiled a list of digital resources, both open access and subscription-based, from their own collections and other partner libraries.

Icelandic Scribes Project looks at texts commissioned by Magnús Jónsson (1637–1702). Focus is on copies made of medieval Icelandic texts produced during the seventeenth century. Shares results and resources that have come out of this project.

Latin Extracts in Early Modern Manuscripts is a new and ongoing project that documents Latin text in English sources.

 

Middling Culture is an AHRC-funded project examines the cultural lives of the literate, urban ‘middling sort’ in early modern England, analysing the broad range of written and material forms they both produced and consumed.

The Power of Petitioning in Seventeenth-Century England - This is an AHRC-funded project that examines petitioning at all levels of English government during the whole century. The project includes petitions that have been both transcribed and digitised, and gathered from national and local archives. 

Recipe Resources is a collaborative list of open access sources useful for research on early modern recipe books.

Special Collections & Archives (Templeman Library) at the University of Kent holds over 150 archival collections. Collection strengths include popular and comic performance; cartoon artwork and publications; wind and watermills; twentieth century prose and poetry; sixteenth and seventeenth century texts; and British music hall. While not every collection is currently digitized, library staff are working to increase their digital holdings, and are very responsive to researchers' inquiries.

 
Reference Works

Dictionary of National Biography (ODNB) is the online version of the major British biographical dictionary (Kent login required)

 

Oxford Reference Online is a collection of online reference works which can be searched singly or as a group. It includes subject and language dictionaries, thesauri, Who's Whos, and biographical dictionaries. (Kent login required)

 

Oxford English Dictionary (OED) is the online version of the authoritative dictionary of English. (Kent login required)

 

Previous Theses

EThOS provides a national aggregated record of all doctoral theses awarded by UK Higher Education institutions, and free access to the full text of as many theses as possible.

 

Open Access Theses and Dissertations (OATD) indexes records of theses from institutions across the world and provides a simple search interface.

 

American doctoral Dissertations (EBSCOhost) gives access to a comprehensive record of dissertations accepted by American universities during that time period, the print index Doctoral Dissertations Accepted by American Universities. Contains more than 172,000 theses and dissertations in total from 1902 to the present.

 

Resource page updated by Dr Daniella Gonzalez - last updated 23/09/20

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