Here is a collection of links that represent a sample of what is available online about Text and Technology:


Godey's Lady's Book Online

Though the site is in need of repair, a good sampling of Godey's Lady's Books are represented in five full digitized issues from 1850. Each issue contains the text features of the month (poems, etc) as well as illustrations and 19th century fashion plates. Victorian Elegance

A gateway site with a host of links to 19th fashion plates, photographs, and illustrations. Perfect for a more thorough self-exploration through the world of Godey's and beyond.

American Women's Dime Novel Project (Dime Novels for Women, 1870-1920)

Grown from the dissertation of Felicia Carr, a Cultural Studies student at GMU, this website explores the role of women's dime novels in changing gender and class structures in America. The site provides information about the novels, its authors and readers, the publishers, and 19 th century public reaction. There is a small archive of primary materials (letters, short fiction, promotional pieces, etc) as well as a gallery of the novels' “lurid” cover art. For further research, a list of other university and online archives of the dime novels is also provided. Substantial content and well executed.


Women's Work in the Long 19 th Century

This Kennesaw State University site examines the cultural perspective of women's work in the so-called “long” 19 th century (1780-1920). Broken into themes of study, such as domesticity and education, WW offers primary print texts and visual representations of women's work from the era. Each piece is accompanied with the appropriate scholarship in order to provide a cultural context to each image, along with a series of interpretive questions. Also, course material and lesson plans from Kennesaw's course on Women's Work in the Long 19 th Century is provided.



Periodyssey is a dealer of old or obscure American periodicals. Perfect for anyone interested in collecting, or searching for a specific issue to research, this site offers catalogs, auctions, request lists, appraisals, and even essays on significant magazines that have slipped through the standard references of most archives or libraries. An excellent resource.


Emergence of Advertising in America: 1850-1920

This site hosts over 9,000 images drawn from Duke's Rare Book, Manuscript, and Special Collections Library, all pertaining to the early evolution of advertising in America. Access the collection via inventory category descriptions or a detail search function, or refer to a timeline of events in business technology, media, and marketing that tracks the growth of this “ubiquitous feature of American business and culture.”


Brown University's Broadside Collection

A collection of over 40,000 pieces of broadsides, posters, bookplates, and other ephemera is housed in Brown University's John Hay Library—25,000 of which may be found here online. Broadsides are important for researching American history, literature, music, and other cultural facets, exemplifying the popular culture of the day. While the site is big on describing the collection, it seems the 25,000 online holdings are only available through search functions and not browsing—the majority of which are poetry or poetry related broadsides.



Bodleian Library Broadside Ballads

This collection of Broadside Ballads, dubbed the Ballads Project, is housed at the Bodleian Library at the University of Oxford and has over 30,000 holdings gathered in a single relatively easy to use catalog. All the thumbnails are linked to full-sized, high quality image scans and are accompanied by abstracts on each piece. Also included are a handful of MIDI files of the actual ballads themselves. The site offers a detailed search function and an iconographic index in order to find what you need. Good resource for research on popular literature, music, social, and print histories.


The John Johnson Collection of Printed Ephemera

Cousin to the Broadside Ballads Project is Bodleian Library's John Johnson Collection of Printed Ephemera. This collection boasts over one million items from the 18 th , 19 th , and 20 th centuries (with some ephemera dating back to 1508). As Johnson defined it, “everything printed which is not actually a book” can be found here—good source material for historians—and can be searched via a catalog index (currently incomplete) or through subject headings. However, many may find accessing the actual ephemera somewhat difficult, as the collection can only be used by “bona fide researchers” who complete a Bodleian admissions form and deliver it in person to the admissions office in Oxford. But there is a healthy taste of the collection online: under “Exhibition” on the menu bar is an online catalog for the 2001 exhibit, A Nation of Shopkeepers, Trade Ephemera from 1654 to the 1860s. This site is more index than archive, but useful for learning about ephemera and its applications.


Penny Dreadfuls and Penny Bloods

A brief but entertaining one page history of penny dreadfuls and penny bloods—serials spun from sensational journalism and the Gothic novels of 19 th century Great Britain. These escapist fictions, usually horrific, were known for their cheap publication costs and for rankling Victorian imaginations. Succumb to the verve of site master and collector, Michael Holmes, as he describes the exciting history! of this early form of popular literature.


Sweeney Todd, The Demon Barber of Fleet Street (in Concert)

This PBS program-cum-website explores true crimes turned fictionalized accounts through the story of Sweeney Todd, “The Demon Barber.” Exploring his many incarnations from penny dreadfuls to melodramas to musicals, the website diverges greatly into the social history of 18 th & 19 th century London—ghastly urban conditions, crime & punishment, medicine & surgery—that spawned the phenomenon of such sensationalist serials as Sweeney Todd. Much can be found on this site, organized into four large sections, including loads of additional resources, audio clips, newspaper accounts, and serials. Quite interactive. At times, the focus may seem sprawling in the site's holistic attempt to cover this penny dreadful turned Broadway musical. Plan on spending 2 + hours to cover the site and its sources in their entirety.


Standford's Dime Novels and Story Paper Collection

A website of Standford's Dime Novels and Story Paper Collection, holding over 8,000 items of dime novel and penny dreadful serials—nine of which can be fully read online. The site offers “guided tours” of the print and cover elements of the dime novel, exploring in depth the technical production and publication processes of this popular form of fiction. This Standford site also sports a searchable index of its holdings, allowing one to search not only by title, but also by salient features: audience age and sex, settings, subjects, and graphic features. Each item is accompanied with its cover, title, issue & volume number, captions, and information on the above salient features. Very useful for finding context-specific dime novels.


Multimedia: from Wagner to Virtual Reality

Multimedia: from Wagner to Virtual Reality is an online project that attempts an understanding of the “roots, significance, and potential” of multimedia. This Herculean task is ordered into four large categories, exploring first a hypertextual introduction to multimedia, a timeline of its pioneers, in-depth overviews of their work and ideas, and then key concepts about the nature of multimedia and its potential applications. True to its subject, the site itself is highly interactive, and may be intimidatingly stylized at first, but a legend of navigational features is provided. After that, organization tends to be quite effective.


Curiosities of Street Literature

UVA site-in-progress with four divisions of broadsides, ballads, “catchpennies,” and street literature. Currently, only section IV is scanned and posted online; an archive of the full images of the “Gallows”—a series of trials, executions, last statements, and confessions.


The Complete Writings and Pictures of Dante Gabriel Rossetti: A Hypermedia Research Archive

This website is designed as a resource to study Dante Rossetti in all his facets with four projected installments. The first installment centers on Rossetti's Poems and the pictorial works associated with that book. The second, pictorial and textual, focuses on The Early Italian Poets. The site hosts great scans accompanied with detailed production, provenance, and physical descriptions of the pictorials, as well as descriptions of the written works, with lengthy commentary and bibliographic resources. A guided tour is available for general introductions and navigating the archive.


Uncle Tom's Cabin and American Culture: A Multi-Media Archive

Cousin to UVA's Rossetti archive, this website explores the cultural phenomenon of Harriet Beecher Stowe's book, Uncle Tom's Cabin. Content is organized into pretext, UTC, responses, and other media, while the site has three modes of use: Browse mode—access to all primary material in the archive: text, songs, images, etc. Search mode—search all the primary material at once with several fields of qualification. And Interpret mode—an interactive portion of the site with includes a timeline, exhibits, and teaching modules and lesson plans for understanding the primary material. Well organized and easy to navigate.


The Text Encoding Initiative Consortium

The TEI Consortium, hosted by four universities across the United States and Europe, is a united effort to standardize an international and interdisciplinary method of encoding humanities data in electronic form, independent of any specialized hardware or software. The website is very extensive, (if chaotic at times) offering samples of encoding projects, (the Brown University Women Writers Project, for example) tutorials, guidelines, and applications for membership prospectuses. Today, TEI boasts a standard that “helps libraries, museums, publishers, and individual scholars represent all kinds of literary and linguistic texts for online research and teaching.”


The Oxford Text Archive

Hosting the Arts & Humanities Data Service of Literature, Language, and Linguistics, the OTA is simply one of the largest electronic text archives in existence. One may browse by author, language, (of which there are twenty) or title—or search via simple or advanced functions, perform a full text search of any given work, or peruse a printed catalog with adobe acrobat. Simply massive, texts which are public domain can be downloaded freely from the online catalog in a number of different formats. (the TEI format SGML is recommended) Others may be obtained with written permission from the text's original depositor, and the OTA can even provide some texts on physical media (floppy disks, etc) for a nominal fee. Data creators and depositors get the safe repository of OTA's archival and distribution management service. An excellent source for researching and teaching through high quality electronic texts—and entertaining to idly browse, as well. Simply and effectively organized—exactly what freely accessible information should be.

Introduction to Imaging

As a companion to the digital encoding of texts, this website is the Getty Museum's introduction to digital imaging and the construction of an image database. An adaptation of the print publication Introduction to Imaging: Issues in Constructing an Image Database by Howard Besser and Jennifer Trant, the site is broken into a neatly linked table of contents that ranges from defining what a digital image is, to the finer points of dynamic range, resolution, image capturing, and monitor vs. print displays in creating an image database. Each section is accompanied by a visual example which makes for a good tutorial. Valuable for scholars who wish archive images electronically, or anyone wanting to create an effective website involving graphic content.



Creative Commons

Creative Commons is the answer to the unique problem of copyright laws, defining the spectrum between full copyright (all rights reserved) and public domain (no rights reserved). CC is both an archive and a portal between creative peer interaction—making a whole range of creative materials available (audio, video, images, text, educational materials and tutorials) for free public or restricted use. The site can generate different licenses for creative materials depending on how the creator wants his or her work to be made available. (The licenses come in three different formats: Lawyer Readable, Human Readable, and Computer Readable) A friendly Flash tutorial explains to any newcomers the principles of the site and how it operates, and the site design is so fun that it begs further exploration.


Lawrence Lessig's Free Culture

Ostensibly the bedrock on which sites like Creative Commons are founded, this minimalist site hosts Lawrence Lessig's last speeches on intellectual properties and free culture at the 2002 O. Reilly Open Source Conference. The speech comes in three different formats: a large Flash slide presentation overlaid with the audio, an MP3 of just the audio, and the transcript. Essential for understanding the problems that arise out of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act and the nature of extended copyright laws today. Provides links for further understanding and how to get involved.


Piracy is Progressive Taxation

Tim O'Reilly's article, “Piracy is Progressive Taxation, and Other Thoughts on the Evolution of Online Distribution,” speaks as both author and publisher on how the ill-defined term of electronic “piracy” has done little to hurt the publishing industries— book, music, film, or otherwise. Discussing such forums as e-texts, Napster, and Kazaa, the article reflects on the historical rise of new media and how they have expanded and augmented the existing media marketplaces.


The Eric Eldred Act

This website describes and answers questions about the proposed Eric Eldred Act—a campaign to “restore balance to copyright laws by expanding the public domain.” Explores how other organizations, such as the Public Library of Science, are taking measures to ensure their research and content is being made a freely available public resource. The site supplies a link for any visitor to sign a petition in favor of the act, and provides a feedback forum to every article posted.


Lawrence Lessig

The official website of Standford Law Professor and Creative Commons chair, Lawrence Lessig. Here, one can read articles and discussions on cyberlaws, corporate and regulatory pressures that threaten creative material on the internet. Lessig's site also features his own blog and a content section which catalogs the articles, books, columns, lectures, and audio/visual components of his work—an ongoing battle against the “interpretations of copyright that could stifle innovation and discourse online.” And, of course, the ever ubiquitous Donate via Paypal feature.


James Boyle

Website of Duke Law School Professor, James Boyle, devoted to issues of intellectual properties—in essence, the laws of the information society as they pertain to the “intellectual ecology” of the public domain. Chock full'o essays and articles, the site is almost overwhelming in its amount of content—drawing from a wide spectrum of outside sources—with the information occasionally getting weighed down in the rhetoric. Content archives are available as well as a list of links for further reading.


Copyright Assistance Office GMU

Homebase to George Mason University's own Copyright Office. Lists contact information of the University Copyright Officer, along with the terms of university copyright policy, fair use, tutorials, U.S. copyright law, file sharing, and other resources. Most interesting is the copyright infringement/violation section where the university absolves itself of liability for student misuse of creative distribution.

Copyright as Cudgel

Siva Vaidhyanathan's article, “Copyright as Cudgel,” tackles the disintegration of “fair use” as it pertains to the 1998 Digital Millennium Copyright Act and its resulting attack on academic freedom. A must read for anyone in academe and “everyone who reads, writes, sings, does research, or teaches.”

Siva Vaidhyanathan's Homepage

This site contains all the fundamentals of Vaidhyanathan's crusade against restrictive copyright laws and informational commerce. Included are a brief bio with photographs, links to Vaidhyanathan's publications, both book and articles, and even a link to his new weblog: There Vaidhyanathan accrues a range of outside articles and letters concerning the cultural policies of the copyright.

Freedom to Tinker

A weblog by Ed Felton in which he responds to breaking news about current technologies, media, and politics, and the resulting cultural implications that spring from such bedfellows. Readers are welcome to join in the debate and comment on any given entry. Also included are links to laws, Judiciary hearings, and other Tech/Law/Policy blogs.

MIT OpenCourseWare

Incredible site devoted to being a "free and open educational resource for faculty, students, and self-learners around the world." Here, free of fee or registration, 500 courses from 33 academic disciplines are offered, from Literature to Oceanic Engineering, and include all relevant syllabi, readings, and assignments. Go on, have fun. Finally learn about cellular neurophysiology like you always wanted to.

Link and annotation contributions by Dr. Roger Lathbury:

Aspects of the Victorian Book

Labyrinthine site with lots of images of presses and information on printing technology. Printing didn't change much until the 19th century when there was a larger audience for newspapers and fiction and when the industrial revolution spurred innovations in press design.


Printing History

Press images of printing history. It helps, to appreciate these images, to have worked a press at one time or another, to know where the type would be placed and how it would be set, either by individiual letters or by a stereotyped plate.

Printing and Graphic Arts

A modest rundown of the Smithsonian National Museum of American History exhibit, The Hall of Printing and Graphic Arts. The exhibit features printshop equipment from 1800, 1865, the 1880s, and a foundry from the mid-19th century--the advantage being that one can visit the Smithsonian to trace print evolution.

The Cary Graphic Arts Collection

The Cary Collection of Printing History and Graphic Arts is probably the most exhausive of these sites; there are numerous examples of printing presses, the history of bookmaking (with stunning examples), and a mini course in book manufacturing. Papermaking, bookmaking through the history of the printed book, and all in beautiful detail. This is another reason George Mason University should relocate to Manhattan. While waiting for that event, spend an hour at this site.