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British Women Romantic Poets
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Table of contents What's This?
  • Overview of the Records
  • History of the British Women Romantic Poets Project
  • Methodology and Technology
  • Project Participants
  • Scope and Contents
  • Related Material
  • Arrangement
  • Index Terms
  • Restrictions on Access
  • Restrictions on Use
  • Preferred Citation

  • Overview of the Records

    Repository: UC Davis Digital Library Program.Dept. of Preservation
    Creator: British Women Romantic Poets Project, University Library, University of California, Davis.
    Title: British Women Romantic Poets, 1789-1832
    Dates: 1997-open
    Extent: 100 texts.
    Abstract: The British Women Romantic Poets Online Text Collection is a growing collection,consisting in 2003 of 100 online full-text transcriptions of poetry written by women in England, Scotland, and Ireland between 1789 and 1832 and SGML encoded using the TEI-Lite dtd. The collection was created by The British Women Romantic Poets Project at the University of California, Davis Library and is available online free of charge at http://www.lib.ucdavis.edu/BWRP/.
    Record Series: OACBritWomPoets
    Language: English.

    History of the British Women Romantic Poets Project

    In January of 1997, librarians at the Shields Library began a pilot with the library's Kohler Collection, to see whether it was feasible to convert these texts to electronic formats, thus making them accessible to students and scholars over the internet. Projects at Indiana and Brown pointed to the usefulness of such E-Texts, particularly when encoded with attention to structure and accurate transcription.
    Our own UC, Davis academic community reaffirmed our belief that such a collection would be useful. There was significant interest on the Davis campus in British women writers. Monica Kearney, Jane King, Kari Lokke, and Adriana Craciun, students and faculty at Davis, all presented papers based on Kohler Collection research at the Sixth Annual Eighteenth- and Nineteenth-Century British Women Writers Conference, held on the Davis Campus in March 1997. Their work and interest in the Kohler, were, we believed, indicative of a larger group of scholars who would benefit by greater access to poetic texts by British women poets.
    While the Victorian Women Writers Project at Indiana and the Brown Women Writers' Project have generated interest in the academic community, as yet there had at that time been no systematic attempt to gather a specialized collection of E-texts by British women poets of the Romantic period. This project endeavored to meet that goal.
    As of January, 2000 we had tagged fifty texts, using Standard Generalized Markup Language (SGML) according to Text Encoding Initiative (TEI) Guidelines. In the summer of 1997, we established styles, standard conventions, and procedures. Two LAUC-D Research grants have allowed us to purchase copies of Author/Editor sofware and to hire several student taggers. Other staffing is provided by volunteer interns. In the early stages of the project, some programming support was provided by the University Library Systems Department. Since 1999, all technical work has been provided by volunteers and project editors.
    In the spring of 1998, we began work with the library cataloging department to standardize our header data so it conforms to MARC guidelines, and developed a perl program routine that converts our TEI headers to MARC records. The library is continuing to work on automating the process for cataloging project texts. In 1998 as well we began scanning and mounting illustrations and title pages. In 1999 we mounted these images in our SGML texts.
    The past two years have been fruitful ones. We have launched many new texts, and will soon be mounting our 80th text. We have continued to focus our efforts on the production of accurately transcribed and carefully coded literary texts. We continue to produce our texts using SGML for our digital-archival version. Last but not least, we have benefitted greatly from the skills of Electronic Resources cataloger Jared Campbell, who is advising us as we prepare MARC records for our texts and make these available to the library community. Jared is also helping us integrate BWRP texts into the University of Michigan Digital Library Production Service's OAIster Search Interface. These efforts will make our texts more broadly available to researchers and students.
    Early in 2001, we began exploring the possibility of converting our texts from SGML to XML. We are now able to do this, and we await eagerly the availability of an XML user interface architecture that will allow us to provide more sophisticated functionality. We hope to work with the California Digital Library or with another repository, to make our repository part of a larger digital collection. Meanwhile we continue to scan, encode, edit, and mount in SGML and HTML formats Kohler texts by women in the Romantic Period, and we continue to have faith that a user interface will someday be available that will allow users to search our texts.
    BWRP continues to attract over 5000 users per month to our home site, and each individual text is accessed between 50 and 350 times each month. We know that users are finding our site through many sources: our library catalog, the Internet Public Library, Britannica Online, Literature Online, U. Penn.'s "A Celebration of Women Writers" website, and many others. We know that graduate students are using our texts as the basis for further editorial projects and simply as a source for rare texts. We know the site continues to draw a large general, non-academic audience.
    In 2001, the project was approached by electronic publisher Alexander Street Press, who wished to work with us to create an online archive/anthology of poetry by Scottish Women in the Romantic Period. I worked with Professor Stephen Behrendt of Nebraska (a member of our Editorial Advisory Board), to choose texts, supply bibliographic and biographical contextual material, and solicit essays on the poets from other members of the BWRP advisory board and from other scholars. The result has been an electronic publication, "Scottish Women Poets of the Romantic Period" (Alexander Street Press, 2002). While this is a commercial product, the texts contributed by BWRP remain freely accessible through the BWRP website.
    In 1998, we wrote that we believed there was a large group of scholars who would benefit by greater access to poetic texts by British women poets in the Kohler Collection. Our experience has shown this to be true, and has taught us as well that making literary texts available on the web brings them into the realm of students and readers who are not associated with the academic research community. In some ways, this has been the most gratifying result of our work.
    What are the challenges for the future? There are three: finding a way to encode the remaining 200 texts before THIS millenium ends. Second, finding a preservation repository for the texts we've created, and providing metadata that will ensure that these texts will be available for future generations. Third, we'd like our texts to be part of a digital infrastructure that encourages students to use them in as many ways as possible.
    Nancy Kushigian, Ph.D. MLIS General Editor, September 2002.
    Update, June 2003. In recent months we have been working with the California Digital Library to Provide access through the Online Archive of California. This will ensure the texts are preserved with other OAC content. It will also allow the text repository to be searched through text interfaces for TEI currently in development at CDL.

    Methodology and Technology

    Selection Criteria
    Texts are being selected in consultation with our Editorial Advisory Board, consisting of scholars in the United States and Canada. Our aim is to make complete texts available that are not readily accessible from other sources, many of which are not well known, or who are only beginning to be of interest to the scholarly community. Texts are drawn from the UC, Davis Library's Kohler Collection of British Poetry, housed in the Department of Special Collections.
    Texts are scanned on a basic flatbed scanner, then converted to ASCII format using OCR software, which we have found to be accurate in its recognition of archaic and small typefaces. Texts are then proofed initially with the OCR proofing utility, then saved as text files. Finally, they are imported into Author/Editor, where they are tagged. Finally, they undergo a rigorous proofing process. Each text is proofed by Managing Editor, Charlotte Payne, before it is mounted on the BWRP Website.

    Project Participants

    Nancy Kushigian, Shields Library, Department of Humanities and Social Sciences, University of California, Davis
    Charlotte Payne, Shields Library, Preservation Department, University of California, Davis
    Editorial Advisory Board
    Meena Alexander, Dept. of English, Hunter College
    Stephen Behrendt, Dept. of English, University of Nebraska
    Betty T. Bennett, Dept. of English, American University
    Adriana Craciun, Dept. of English, Loyola University
    Harriet Linkin, Dept. of English, New Mexico State University
    Kari Lokke, Dept. of Comparative Literature, University of California--Davis
    Laura Mandell, Dept. of English, Miami University of Ohio
    Anne K. Mellor, Dept. of English, University of California--Los Angeles
    David Simpson, Dept. of English, University of California--Davis
    Patricia Srebrnik, Dept. of English, University of Calgary
    Jared Campbell, Shields Library
    Michael Bavister (1997-1999)
    Anne Bressler (1996-1999)
    Bruce McEachern (1999)
    Jim Sylva (1996-1997, 2002)
    Bruce Rosenstock (2001-2002)
    Miriam Hull (1998-2001)
    Farida Khosh (1997-2001)
    Andrea Ramirez (1997-1998)
    Summer Silveira (1997-1999)
    Mary Tomanaga (1998)
    Wen-Lin Tsai (summer 1997, summer 1998)
    Ophelia Yim (1997-1998)
    Edmond Kwok (1999)
    Seth Williams (summer 1999)
    Leigh Rios (2000-continuing)
    Rianna Au (2000-2002)
    Janelle Vargas (2000-continuing)

    Scope and Contents

    The British Women Romantic Poet's Project is producing an online scholarly archive consisting of E-text editions of poetry by British and Irish women written (not necessarily published) between 1789 (the onset of the French Revolution) and 1832 (the passage of the Reform Act), a period traditionally known in English literary history as the Romantic period.
    Texts are being selected in consultation with our Editorial Advisory Board, consisting of scholars in the United States and Canada. Our aim is to make complete texts available that are not readily accessible from other sources, many of which are not well known, or who are only beginning to be of interest to the scholarly community. Texts are drawn from the UC, Davis Library's Kohler Collection of British Poetry, housed in the Department of Special Collections.
    Dublin Core and MARC records for texts in the British Women Romantic Poets series are availailable at http://www.lib.ucdavis.edu/BWRP/Works/.

    Related Material

    Texts from the British Women Romantic Poets Project were used as the basis for an online anthology: Scottish Women Poets of the Romantic Period (Alexander Street Press, 2002). Some BWRP texts are also housed on the University of Michigan Humanities Text Initiative Server. Finally, texts are available locally at Davis in XML Format.


    Texts are listed alphabetically by author.

    Index Terms

    This record series is indexed under the following controlled access subject terms. English poetry--19th centuryEnglish poetry--18th centuryPoets, English--Women AuthorsPoets, Scottish--Women AuthorsScottish Poetry--19th century.Scottish Poetry--18th century.Romanticism, England--18th centuryRomanticism, Scotland--19th centuryRomanticism, Scotland--18th centuryRomanticism, England--19th century

    Restrictions on Access

    ©2001, University of California Online texts from the British Women Romantic Poets Project are the property of the University of California. They are available free of charge, with no access restrictions.

    Restrictions on Use

    Texts may be copied freely by individuals for personal use, research, and teaching (including distribution to classes) as long as this statement of availability is included in the text. They may be linked to by internet editions of all kinds, so long as proper attribution is present. Scholars interested in changing or adding to these texts by, for example, creating a new edition of the text (electronically or in print) with substantive editorial changes, may do so with the permission of the publisher. This is the case whether the new publication will be made available at a cost or free of charge. BWRP texts may not be not be reproduced as a commercial or non-profit product, in print or from an information server.

    Preferred Citation

    Use citation from source text, then add "Electronic Edition published by the British Women Romantic Poets Project, Margaret B. Harrison Preservation Department, Library, University of California, Davis, [year.]"