Tuesday, 24 June 2014

UPDATED: 23 Digital Humanities research resources you should know about

UPDATED on 8 July 2014: I have added a few new resources to the "Multiple Resources" and "Newspapers and Periodicals" sections.

I will be using this page to include any references to online resources and databases that I come across in my research and which I think are useful. This will updated as and when I (or indeed you) come across anything new.

If you have any contributions you think should be included either leave a comment or contact me directly either through the comments section or by email through the contact page.

Multiple Resources

Internet Archive

It seems unlikely anyone has searched on the internet without bumping into some Internet Archive resources. Excellent range of materials and often very high quality scans. Sometimes the metadata is not as full or accurate as it could be hoped but otherwise it is an excellent resource.

Internet Archive Book Images

This project, which is shared on Flickr tries to make the images scanned as part of the Internet Archive project more accessible to researchers. The search functionality is still, o course, in its infancy but it is a very impressive and useful project when sourcing images.


(Bibliothèque nationale de France): http://gallica.bnf.fr/

Excellent French-language resource which includes digitised scans of books, manuscripts, newspapers and more. Excellent quality scans, superb search facility.

Newspapers and Periodicals

California Digital Newspaper Collection 

(Center for Bibliographical Studies and Research, University of California, Riverside): http://cdnc.ucr.edu/cgi-bin/cdnc

Does exactly as it states providing access to a huge volume of Californian newspapers. Uses a similar system to Trove.

British Newspaper Archive (£)

Digitizing all the British newspapers held by the British Library. Currently it is in partnership with a company called Brightsolid and as a result is a paid service. Interestingly, as Brightsolid also own Findmypast you can now get access to BNA through a FMP account. The search functionality is not as good as the standalone site, but it is useful.

Welsh Newspapers Online

(National Library of Wales): http://papuraunewyddcymru.llgc.org.uk/en/home?

Relatively new resource which is still in beta. Excellent search functionality and the navigation around the newspapers is excellent. The OCR also appears pretty good which means the results tend to be very good. Well worth a visit.

Science in the Nineteenth-Century Periodical

A really excellent resource for helping you discover scientific sources in various periodicals and publication in the 1800s. Includes a large number of texts.

Nineteenth Century Serials Edition (NCSE)

(Kings College London): http://www.ncse.ac.uk/index.html

This includes digitized copies of sixth periodicals from the nineteenth century. These are:

  • Monthly Repository (1806-1837) and Unitarian Chronicle (1832-1833) 
  • Northern Star (1838-1852) 
  • Leader (1850-1860) 
  • English Woman’s Journal (1858-1864) 
  • Tomahawk (1867-1870) 
  • Publishers’ Circular (1880-1890)

Comics Collection, University of Florida Digital Collections

(George A. Smathers Libraries, University of Florida): http://ufdc.ufl.edu/punch

Includes a very comprehensive set of digital scans of some significant British comics including Fun and Funny Folks. According to their site they intend to do the same for Punch.

Correspondence Projects

Alfred Russel Wallace Letters Online

Edited by the Wallace scholar and entomologist George Beccaloni this is of course one of the core online resources I use in my research.

The Wallace Notebooks Collection

(Linnean Society): http://linnean-online.org/wallace_notes.html

This has scanned all the manuscripts written by Wallace currently held at the Linnean Society including his Malay Archipelago and North American notebooks.

Darwin Correspondence Project

(University of Cambridge): http://www.darwinproject.ac.uk/

A longstanding and impressive project based at the University of Cambridge which has collected and transcribed every known letter written by or to Charles Darwin. Very impressive. Currently this site has a moving wall for content due to the fact that the correspondence is still first published in hard copy by Cambridge University Press. Currently I think the moving wall is 10 years (i.e. 10 years after the publication of the book the letters come onto the site).

Olive Schreiner Letters Online

(ESRC, Edinburgh University, Sheffield University and Leeds Metropolitan University): http://www.oliveschreiner.org/vre

A nice project piecing together the archive of 4,800 letters by the "New Woman" writer Olive Schreiner. An excellent and clear site.

John Tyndall Correspondence Project

(York University): http://www.yorku.ca/tyndall/

This is a project which currently does not include any letters online. However, that is the intention eventually. They are following a similar procedure as the Darwin Correspondence Project with published collections of the correspondence first followed by them being made available online afterwards. Watch this space!

Joseph Dalton Hooker Correspondence

A project at its early stages to rediscover the correspondence of the botanist, Joseph Dalton Hooker (1817-1911), and digitise them. Currently it is mostly only scans and thus requires quite a bit of work to go through the c.130 pages of scans. A great resource nonetheless.

John Muir Correspondence

A nice collection of the letters to/from the US conservationist, John Muir. The search function and navigation is very good indeed.

John Murray Archive

(National Library of Scotland): http://digital.nls.uk/jma/index.html

Relating to the publisher John Murray and his correspondence. Currently the letters appear to be a very select few to certain correspondents. Hopefully this will grow over time.

The Correspondence of William Henry Fox Talbot

(DeMontford University and University of Glasgow): http://foxtalbot.dmu.ac.uk/index.html

Collection of the correspondence of the photography pioneer and polymath William Henry Fox Talbot (1800-1877). 

Sir Hans Sloane's Correspondence Online


A little earlier than my usual period (i.e. 1660-1753) but still very interesting to read through.

Official Documents

Old Bailey Online

A now very mature and invaluable resource for anyone working in British history. Superb.

Online Historical Population Reports

(University of Essex): http://www.histpop.org/ohpr/servlet/

This is an excellent resource which includes scans of a wide variety of official documents providing a plethora of material to look at the population of the UK. The chief documents included are: 

There are also a number of other smaller documents which will undoubtedly be of use to many.

Hansard, 1803-2005

Another excellent resource even if it is a little clunky at points. Search facility is not the greatest. On many occasions I have found need to search the site using the Google Advanced Search function.


RED: The experience of reading in Britain, from 1450 to 1945

A really very interesting database which brings together examples of how people read texts throughout a large period. This includes mention of marginalia, papers on papers/books of others and more besides. Very intriguing and potentially very rewarding.

No comments:

Post a Comment