Victorian Women Writers Project

General description: The Victorian Women Writers Project (VWWP) was begun in 1995 at Indiana University under the determined leadership and editorship of Perry Willett. The VWWP was celebrated early on for exposing lesser-known British women writers of the 19th century, writers whose popularity did not make the transition into the 20th century or inclusion in a literary canon. Originally the VWWP focused on poetry, but soon Willett acknowledged the variety of genres in which women of that period were writing—novels, children’s books, political pamphlets, religious tracts and so on. Thus the collection was expanded to include genres beyond poetry and so the VWWP grew until about the turn of the twenty-first century, ultimately including approximately two hundred texts as part of the corpus.

Quiet since 2003, the VWWP is pleased to be back with an expanded purview that includes women writing in the nineteenth century in English beyond Britain. As before, the project will devote time and attention to the accuracy and completeness of the texts, as well as to their bibliographical descriptions. New texts, encoded according to the Text Encoding Initiative (TEI) P5 Guidelines, will adopt principles of scholarly encoding, facilitating more sophisticated retrieval and analysis.

Implementation description: The approximately 200 original, online texts that are currently part of the Victorian Women Writers Project (VWWP) were produced by transcription and originally encoded in the Standard Generalized Markup Language (SGML) following the Text Encoding Initiative (TEI) Guidelines, version P3, using the TEI Lite DTD (version 1.6).

In an effort to bring the encoding up to date, the original SGML, TEI P3 files were transformed to XML, TEI P4. Aspects of the encoding that were not conducive to automatic mapping and transformation were updated manually. In 2009, the TEI P4 version of the files were transformed yet again to the most current version of the TEI P5, which also required manual intervention to address aspects lost in translation, and also to conform to the newly revised Best Practices for TEI in Libraries. The VWWP texts now rely on a custom W3C schema.

Copyright information: Indiana University makes no claim of copyright to the original texts, which have been published before 1923 and are, therefore, in the public domain. Permission is granted to download, transmit or otherwise reproduce, distribute or display the original texts so long as the header is included in its entirety.

Indiana University makes a claim of copyright only to original contributions made by the Victorian Women Writers Project participants. All other use, including but not limited to commercial or scholarly reproductions, redistribution, publication or transmission, whether by electronic means or otherwise, is strictly prohibited without the prior permission of the copyright holder.


Michelle Dalmau
Indiana University Digital Library Program
Herman B Wells Library, W501
1320 East 10th Street
Bloomington, IN 47401
Telephone: (812) 855-1261

Last recorded change to this page: 2011-03-10  •  For corrections or updates, contact