Birkbeck Centre for Nineteenth-Century Studies is involved in a range of exciting digital projects, often in collaboration with other institutions and organizations around the world.
COVE (The Central Online Victorian Educator) is a scholar-driven open-access platform that publishes peer-reviewed Victorian material. It is maintained and supported by NAVSA, BAVSA, AVSA and a number of independent institutions, including Birkbeck’s Centre for Nineteenth-Century Studies. It contains numerous editions, images, an interactive map, pedagogical material, and a constantly developing range of other material related to nineteenth-century literature and culture.
The Nineteenth-Century Serials Edition (ncse) is a free, online scholarly edition of six nineteenth-century periodicals and newspapers. It is a collaboration between Birkbeck Centre for Nineteenth-Century Studies; King’s College London (Centre for Computing in the Humanities and the Department of English); the British Library; and Olive Software. It was funded from January 2005 to December 2007 by the Arts and Humanities Research Council.
The edition is intended to be of use for anybody with an interest in nineteenth-century literature, history or culture, as well as those interested in the history of the press, or print culture more broadly. It combines easy to use browse functions with advanced searching of the content and the metadata.
Pre-Raphaelites Online (PRO) is an AHRC funded project that aims to bring together UK and US art galleries and museums with significant Pre-Raphaelite collections; world-leading literary and art-historical scholars with expertise on the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood; and the nineteenth-century centres associated with the COVE collective both in the UK and the US, including the Birkbeck Centre for Nineteenth-Century Studies. It asks, how can we engage the wealth of archival material (in galleries belonging to the network) in a way that generates substantive, original research, particularly in the context of transatlantic Pre-Raphaelitism?
This collaborative online project explored Victorian temporalities of reading by studying Dickens’s Our Mutual Friend in its original monthly instalments, 150 years after the novel’s original serialised publication (1864-1865). We read digitised versions of the original monthly parts and then commented on them, month-by-month, on this blog. What remains is a wonderful free archive of short articles on Dickens’s final completed novel.
Participants also initiated a month-by-month Twitter re-telling of Our Mutual Friend. Anonymous bloggers spent more than a year tweeting as characters in the novel, following the monthly instalments but occasionally taking their own Dickensian flights of fancy. If you’re on Twitter, you can search for the tweets under ‘Our Mutual Feed’. You can also view the collected tweets on Storify, and read articles on the experiment by participants (including Holly Furneaux, Melissa Symanczyk, Ben Winyard, Pete Orford, Beatrice Bazell, and organiser Emma Curry) in the anniversary issue of our journal, 19: Interdisciplinary Studies in the Long Nineteenth Century.
Students on our MA Victorian Studies have created Digital Projects as part of their Summer Term Project.
My Jane Eyre library celebrates the materiality of individual copies one of the Victorian period’s most widely reproduced novels, recording their dog-ears, marginalia, underlinings and illustrations.
Mrs Beeton’s Instagram imagines Isabella Beeton’s participation in social media.