Chapter 9. Internet Resources

Table of Contents

The proliferation of electronic journals and discussion groups, text archives, and informational World Wide Web sites; the accessibility of online library catalogs; the ability to communicate and exchange drafts of documents within seconds with colleagues around the world; the availability of online databases; and the possibilities offered by electronic publication—all mean that a literary scholar with only elementary knowledge of computers and the Internet is at a serious disadvantage. Those who need to learn how to use electronic mail, the World Wide Web, and FTP should see their academic computing service about short courses. Those who do not know how to use Boolean operators, truncation, wildcards, nesting, phrase searching, proximity operators, or relevancy searching should consult the admirably clear “Basics of Online Searching” chapter (pp. 1–17) in Keeran and Bowers, Literary Research and the British Romantic Era (M2445).

Internet Resources

The phenomenal growth of the Internet and especially the World Wide Web has led to a proliferation of electronic resources for literary research. The overwhelming amount of material available—including far too many dubious reference tools—and its frequently ephemeral nature have led to the creation of World Wide Web metapages, that is, clearinghouses of links to resources in a discipline or subject. Unfortunately, the three major literature metapages no longer serve as adequate, current resources for scholars. Intute ( is scheduled to disappear three years after it was archived in July 2011; Jack Lynch’s Literary Resources on the Net ( was last updated on 7 January 2006; and Alan Liu’s Voice of the Shuttle ( appears not to be actively maintained.


18thConnect: Eighteenth-Century Scholarship Online. 18thConnect, 2010– . 15 Jan. 2015. <>.

The focus of 18thConnect, an online community of eighteenth-century scholars, is threefold: enabling plain text searching to freely available and proprietary digital resources in eighteenth-century literature and history, facilitating peer review of eighteenth-century digital scholarship, and developing and encouraging best practices with new digital scholars. 18thConnect brings together in one place primary and secondary digital collections of eighteenth-century resources that are developed and maintained by a wide range of individuals and institutions, both those that are freely available (e.g., The Old Bailey Online, Romantic Circles) and those that require subscription (e.g., The Collected Works of Marx and Engels, Orlando: Women’s Writing in the British Isles [M1433]).

The site consists of metadata about resources, links to resources, and plain text searchable versions of the collections. Currently, 18thConnect provides searching for over 674,000 digital objects from 17 federated sites that have undergone the peer-review process. Researchers need to be aware that this is a discovery tool and that there is no guarantee that they will have access to the complete content of proprietary digital resources.

An Exhibit feature allows users to set up curated exhibits, save documents, and tag items within 18thConnect. It also provides a peer-review outlet for eighteenth-century digital scholarship (visit the site for details on the process and submission requirements). The TypeWright tool gives users the opportunity to participate in crowdsourcing to edit incorrect OCR within EEBO (M2009) and ECCO (M2238).


NINES: Networked Infrastructure for Nineteenth-Century Electronic Scholarship. NINES, 2004– . 15 Jan. 2015. <>.

NINES: Networked Infrastructure for Nineteenth-Century Electronic Scholarship is an online scholarly community that provides a combination of services and tools for nineteenth-century scholarship in the digital environment. NINES has three major foci: to encourage best practices and priorities in digital project development; to develop online tools for nineteenth-century research, both traditional and new; and to provide peer review for nineteenth-century digital scholarship (a detailed set of guidelines for new projects is available on the site). NINES features the Collex interface, through which peer-reviewed and other digital sources are brought together with an interoperable search interface that allows concurrent exploration of 866,665 digital objects from 125 federated sites. Through this interface, researchers have search capabilities for open access resources such as the Walt Whitman Archive, the Willa Cather Archive, and the Victorian Women Writers Project and subscription resources such as The Collected Letters of Tennyson, The Works of Charles Darwin, and Irish Women Poets of the Romantic Period. Juxta is a tool that helps scholars compare various editions of a work. Instructors can use the Classroom space to create reading lists for students. Researchers need to be aware that this is a discovery tool and that there is no guarantee that they will have access to the complete content of proprietary digital resources.