Friday, September 14, 2007

Carlyle Letters Online: Magnificent New Open Access Resource

Duke University Press has just launched the Carlyle Letters Online on HighWire Press. This database/web site is freely available to institutions and individuals.

From the press release:

Duke University Press announces the launch at of the Carlyle Letters Online: A Victorian Cultural Reference, the electronic edition of The Collected Letters of Thomas and Jane Welsh Carlyle.

A fully digitized version of one of the most comprehensive literary archives of the nineteenth century, the Carlyle Letters Online features thousands of letters written by Scottish author and historian Thomas Carlyle (1795 - 1881) and his wife, Jane Welsh Carlyle (1801 - 1866), to over six hundred recipients throughout the world.

In part because of grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Delmas Foundation, the Carlyle Letters Online is currently available at no charge to institutions and individuals.

Undertaken in partnership with HighWire Press, a division of Stanford University Libraries, the Carlyle Letters Online is one of the first electronic scholarly editions to be published by a university press. Leveraging HighWire's award-winning online hosting platform and suite of features, the collection offers users an unprecedented level of functionality and personalization.

Designed as a 'collection that knows itself,' each letter in the collection is comprehensively indexed and searchable by date, subject, and recipient, with similar letters linked to each other through a vast web of interconnectivity that encourages discovery and facilitates research. Users may also take advantage of a simple and free registration to employ an array of personalized features, including saved searches; access to a 'My Carlyle Folder,' in which users can create a personal archive; and options for managing personal alerts to find out when the site is updated.

Created for scholars of all levels, from high school students to professionals, the collection allows users to explore the Victorian era from the unique vantage point of two people placed squarely at the geographic, political, and intellectual center of their century. While a critical reference for Victorian scholars, the Carlyle Letters Online aims also to encourage interdisciplinary study, appealing not just to students of literature and history but also to those of politics, economic history, and women's studies.

For more information about the Carlyle Letters Online, including coordinating editor Brent E. Kinser's introduction to the Carlyles, the history of the print edition, and the history of the electronic project, please visit


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