Virtual Scholarship: Navigating Early Modern Studies on the World Wide Web

Kevin Curran
McGill University

Curran, Kevin. "Virtual Scholarship: Navigating Early Modern Studies on the World Wide Web". Early Modern Literary Studies 12.1 (May, 2006) 1.1-23 <URL:>.


  1. The Internet has been a standard presence in the academy for some time now, but the ever-increasing sense amongst academics of having a professional obligation to put it to some use is relatively recent. The question no longer seems to be, “Will I or will I not incorporate Web-based resources into my teaching and research practices?” but rather, “How will I incorporate Web-based resources into my teaching and research practices?” This “how” is a challenging question, even for those of us who are not new to the world of Humanities computing. As we all know, even a cursory wander through the scholarly corners of the World Wide Web turns up a dauntingly profuse array of sites, databases, glossaries, indexes, texts, image-banks, and other online tools. The overwhelming impression of copia can be particularly acute for individuals working in early modern studies, a field that has been at the forefront of academia’s plunge into cyberspace.

  2. So, where does one begin? What is out there? How much of it is useful, and in what ways is it useful? This essay sets out to begin answering some of these questions. Conceived loosely as a review article, it undertakes to discuss a selection of freely-accessible, WWW resources for scholars of early modern literature. It will comment on some of the specific ways in which WWW resources are proving valuable to early modern studies and consider what new directions Web-based scholarship might move in next. This article’s focus on free websites inevitably excludes some large-scale electronic text repositories from the discussion: for example, Early English Books Online ( and the Brown University Women Writers Project ([1] It should also be noted that the present article does not claim to provide the exhaustive coverage of an annotated bibliography.[2] It seeks, rather, to establish a core group of WWW resources that adequately represent the major uses to which Web-based scholarship is being put. The article will, in addition, comment on some of the practical, intellectual, and theoretical issues raised by the use of the Internet in early modern studies and consider what kinds of challenges these issues might pose to Humanities computing more generally.

    Online Journals

  3. There are still very few peer-reviewed journals which are available exclusively on the Internet and which are free of charge. Those that do exist, however, are among the most frequently used resources for early modernists currently available on the World Wide Web. Depending on which one you are dealing with, online journals can foster extreme innovation or be relatively conservative. Renaissance Forum, for instance, while maintaining a high scholarly standard, tends to conform to the thematic and formal norms of a traditional print journal, one which just happens to be published online instead ( By contrast, Early Modern Culture: An Electronic Seminar, edited by Crystal Bartolovich and David Siar (, has from its inception attempted to engage with the cyber revolution of which it is a part. Designed primarily to feature structured debates in an essay-and-response format, this simple online resource is an excellent example of how the immediacy and rapidity of electronic publication can facilitate new functions for journals. The idea, the editors explain, is “to create an online space for something like the active and on-going inquiry of a good seminar.”[3] No doubt, most of us find the idea of a dubious reader rapidly posting a response to our work somewhat disconcerting; but we should not lose sight of the pedagogical value of this kind of interaction. Online journals like Early Modern Culture bring the intellectual banter of academics into a forum where students (who are not normally present at our conferences and colloquiums) can access it.

    Electronic Texts

  4. Some of the uses to which the Internet has been put in literary studies were foreseeable from the earliest days of Humanities computing. The ability of computers to store large amounts of text combined with the easy access afforded by the World Wide Web opened up a whole range of new possibilities for disseminating primary-source materials. Richard Bear was one of the first Renaissance enthusiasts to exploit these potentialities in the service of creating an online text repository for early modern literature. Although his pioneering Renascence Editions ( does not claim to offer true scholarly editions, it is nevertheless a gargantuan undertaking and provided the impetus for professional academics to embark on their own electronic-text projects. I will be commenting on some of these below.

  5. The obvious place to start this discussion is with Shakespeare, though one will quickly find that while there is no shortage of Shakespeare resources on the Internet, almost none of these are dedicated to providing comprehensive and reliable online editions of his plays and poetry. One of the first Shakespeare websites, The Works of the Bard (, is an exception, offering full texts of Shakespeare’s complete works, as well as a slightly antiquated, though still useful, search engine.[4] It should be said, however, that these texts are not editions per se, but transcribed text files. Their reliability is limited and should not provide the basis for any serious academic work on Shakespeare. It is with the nascent Internet Shakespeare Editions (ISE) project ( that we find the first concerted effort to present freely-accessible, online texts of Shakespeare’s complete works which uphold the same rigorous standards of scholarship displayed in trusted print editions like Arden, Cambridge, and Oxford. The texts posted on the ISE website will be freshly edited by well-known Renaissance scholars, under the direction of a prestigious editorial board. The project will, no doubt, become a benchmark in twenty-first century Shakespeare studies. For those who have used the ISE website in the past, it will come as good news that a large-scale redesign has recently reached completion.[5] The original version of the site did the project an unfortunate disservice, being both visually unsophisticated and difficult to navigate. Below are images of the old and new ISE homepages (Figs. 1 and 2):

    Fig. 1. Internet Shakespeare Editions (Old Version)

    Fig. 2. Internet Shakespeare Editions (New Version)

    Not only is the new version of the ISE interface easier to use and organizationally more efficient, the aesthetic improvement goes much further in reassuring users of the scholarly credibility of the ISE venture as a whole. It seems to me vitally important that Web-based academic projects - especially those seeking to set new standards for Internet scholarship - avail themselves of expert design. (More on this topic later.)

  6. It is often in slightly smaller-scale endeavors that we encounter some of the most impressive examples of what can be achieved in electronic editing. As part of Ceres Online Publications Interactive (COPIA), for instance, the Cambridge English Renaissance Electronic Service features Andrew Zurcher’s Hap Hazard: A Manuscript Resource for Spenser Studies ( This site is home to a number of resources, including an edition-in-progress of the Gonville and Caius College MS of A View of the Present State of Ireland, complete with zoomable photographic reproductions of the manuscript itself. However, the crown jewel of Hap Hazard has to be Zurcher’s gathering of Spenser’s complete correspondences carried out between 1580 and 1589, the period during which the poet was secretary in Queen Elizabeth’s administration in Ireland. This first-of-its-kind edited collection includes an incisive introduction and a compendious bibliography. The letters themselves have a shrewdly designed, multiple-window interface, allowing the user to consult notes without having to jump continuously to and from the text (an inconvenience of printed publication which electronic formats reproduce with surprising frequency) (Fig. 3).

    Fig. 3. Hap Hazard: A Manuscript Resource for Spenser Studies

  7. Another example of a highly original and thoughtfully designed repository for difficult-to-access material is Alastair Bellany and Andrew McRae’s Early Stuart Libels: An Edition of Poetry from Manuscript Sources (Fig. 8), viewable at Bellany and McRae’s edition is the inaugural project in EMLS’s “Texts Series.” Finally, for those interested in Humanistic writings of the early modern period, the online Philological Museum of the University of Birmingham’s Shakespeare Institute, overseen by Dana F. Sutton and Martin Wiggins, holds a wide array of astutely edited English and Latin texts, all presented in a neat, readable format, with critical introductions, hyperlinked annotations and, in the case of the Latin texts, English translations ( The site also boasts an extraordinary “Analytic Bibliography of Online Neo-Latin Titles” which presently contains an astounding 14,177 records (

    Uses for the Database in Early Modern Studies

  8. The relentless endeavor to gather information (on just about anything) and to store it has been going on since antiquity. Indeed, it could be thought of as something of a human obsession, one which the computer answered with a never-before-seen capacity for space, speed, and precision. Storing data of various sorts in an electronic ‘base’ was one of the first widespread applications to which computers were put, and the concept seems to have lost none of its efficacy. The field of Renaissance literature boasts a wide range of useful databases, freely accessible on the Internet. These range from specialized catalogues, such as Adam Smyth’s excellent Index of Poetry in Printed Miscellanies, 1640-1682 ([6] and The Perdita Project’s expansive bibliography of manuscripts compiled by early modern women (, to large multimedia text and image archives.

  9. Ian Lancashire’s Early Modern English Dictionary Database (EMEDD) is a superb example of how even a very basic database framework can - if cleverly deployed – open up new avenues for conducting research ( EMEDD stores full texts of sixteen dictionaries and lexicons published in England between 1500 and 1660. A quick, precise, and easy-to-use search engine allows you to look for words in individual texts or in the database as a whole. The EMEDD provides early modernists with a much-needed supplement to the Oxford English Dictionary, which can be etymologically misleading in its preference for literary source material. The database will be of particular interest to editors and textual scholars.

  10. In addition to traditional text databases, academics have found exciting ways to enrich their electronic archives with multimedia design, especially visuals.[7] Certainly one of the most extraordinary examples of this is the Records of Early English Drama (REED) “Patrons and Performances Web Site” ( (Fig. 4).

    Fig. 4. REED, “Patrons and Performances Website”

    REED has since 1975 sought to compile and edit all the extant documentation pertaining to drama, minstrelsy, and public ceremony in England before 1642. Starting with York in 1979, the project has published 25 volumes of dramatic records extracted from the archives of English towns and counties. The idea behind the “Patrons and Performances Web Site” is to transfer all of these records into an electronic database. This process will be reaching completion over the course of the year 2006, though even the present pilot version of the database is impressively extensive. The “Patrons and Performances Web Site” is fully searchable by patron, event, venue, or acting troupe; it is supplemented with photographs, portraits, and architectural diagrams, and it features expertly designed interactive maps that allow the user to pinpoint performance venues and to chart the itineraries of early performance troupes (Fig. 5).

    Fig. 5. REED, “Patrons and Performances Website” (interactive map)

    This database is a truly interdisciplinary resource, one which admirably exploits the multimedia potentials of the World Wide Web. The REED “Patrons and Performances Web Site” is also, without a doubt, the richest repository of documentary evidence pertaining to Renaissance theatre currently available on the Internet.

  11. There are a number of other databases on the World Wide Web that make fruitful use of both text and image. The curious interplay between pictorial and orthographic display in Renaissance emblem books beg just such a multimedia interface. Answering this are several interesting databases dedicated to emblem literature. One impressive example is The Minerva Britanna Project (, an online edition of Henry Peacham’s Minerva Britanna (1612). It features scanned images of the complete text, shrewd commentaries on each emblem, and a group of short critical essays. Extraordinarily, this website and all of its contents was put together by the first-year students of Timothy Billings’s seminar on “Emblem Literature” at Middlebury College: it stands as a powerful reminder of the pedagogical uses to which multimedia design can be put in the Humanities.

  12. Another noteworthy emblem-book database comprises the core of the Penn State University English Emblem Book Project ( This website allows users to browse page-by-page through a choice of nine early modern emblem books held at the Penn State University Library. It includes a useful discussion on the role of emblem books in Renaissance culture (pitched at undergraduate level), as well as a sizable list of print and hypermedia resources for emblem studies. The website is, unfortunately, poorly served by a cranky search engine which only allows for the most basic queries. This is not too much of an obstacle at present since the database is still relatively small and easy enough to browse manually. It may, however, become aggravating as the database grows. (It will eventually hold a collection of emblem books dating from the sixteenth all the way up to the nineteenth century.)[8]

  13. Before closing this section on databases, I should mention the particularly remarkable Digital Catalogue of Watermarks and Type Ornaments Used by William Stansby in the Printing of “The Workes of Benjamin Jonson” (1616) ( This highly specialized multimedia archive – currently nearing completion - was constructed under the direction of David Gants at the Institute for Advanced Technology in the Humanities, University of Virginia, home to such notable multimedia databases as The Abraham Cowley Text and Image Archive ( and Ovid Illustrated: The Renaissance Reception of Ovid in Image and Text ( As Gants explains in the “About This Project” section of the website, the Digital Catalogue “aims to create a model archive for the storage and circulation of material evidence concerning the printing industry in late Tudor and early Stuart London.” The website is organized under a series of menu headings dedicated to the different types of paper and printers’ ornaments used in the production of Jonson’s 1616 folio. There is also an “Index to Works,” and a “Brief Biography” of Stansby. In the paper sections, the user is presented with low-resolution images of the watermarks that designate each paper-group (Fig. 6).

    Fig. 6. Digital Catalogue of Watermarks and Type Ornaments Used by William Stansby in the Printing of “The Workes of Benjamin Jonson” (1616)

    Clicking on any watermark image brings you to a detailed specifications page, listing the exact dimensions of both watermark and paper. Beneath this is a list of the years in which the given paper was used in Stansby’s shop; each year is hyperlinked to an expanded bibliographical entry in the “Index of Works” section. Simple, but shrewd. This is a database which, despite its specialist content, is easy to use and, most importantly, easy to learn from.

    Manuscript Studies

  14. No doubt one of the Internet’s most precious contributions to scholarship of the early modern period has been in the field of manuscript studies. While it is commonly held that an intimate understanding of early modern literary culture is only possible if one becomes conversant with the period’s various textual media, for many, learning about manuscript writing presents a crux in that it is dependent upon either being fortunate enough to work at or near one of the few institutions with a good early modern manuscript collection or, alternatively, upon being able to secure the time and grant money needed to visit those institutions. What we have now, however, is a small group of websites that make it possible to consult a selection of early modern manuscripts online. For anyone relying heavily on manuscript sources in their research, these websites will not, of course, alleviate the necessity of visiting the appropriate libraries and archives. What they do offer is an invaluable opportunity for beginners to attain a basic level of competency before setting off to consult actual manuscripts in situ.

  15. Different manuscript websites offer different services. If you simply want to consult manuscripts, Oxford University has an excellent Early Manuscripts site which showcases a sizable collection of high-resolution images of mostly, though not exclusively, literary manuscripts housed at the Bodleian Library and some of the older Oxford colleges ( A great deal of the collection dates from slightly before our period, but there is enough Renaissance material to make the site worth mentioning. For a specialized website dealing with manuscript annotations of printed Shakespeare texts, see Shakespearean Prompt-Books of the Seventeenth Century ( Edited by G. Blakemore Evans under the auspices of the Bibliographical Society of the University of Virginia, the website presents a wide array of early printed texts of Shakespeare’s plays which have been marked up by contemporary hands for stage production. It is an indispensable resource for those interested in the history of early Shakespearean performance practices, and though it is not the most visually attractive website it is intelligently designed and relatively simple to navigate.

  16. By far the most outstanding manuscript resource on the World Wide Web is English Handwriting, 1500-1700: An Online Course ([9] Here, hats must go off once again to Andrew Zurcher who designed and continues to maintain this site as part of COPIA. Drawing on a massive archive of high-resolution images of manuscripts from Cambridge University, English Handwriting offers a total of 28 lessons in transcription, all ranked in difficulty on a scale of one to five. That these lessons are so effective has a lot to do, I think, with the ingenious design of the website (Fig. 7).

    Fig. 7. English Handwriting, 1500-1700: An Online Course

    Choosing a lesson brings you to the lesson interface: in one window – the largest – you have a high-res, zoomable image of the manuscript that you will be working with; another window provides a space for you to type your transcription; yet another displays information “About this Hand,” including bibliographical details, description, and dating. A menu of symbols lines the bottom of the interface; clicking on them allows the user at any point during their transcription to, for example, view a sample transcription, take a test on the transcription, view an upper or lower-case alphabet, see a table of common brevigraphs and abbreviations, zoom in on the manuscript image, view some notes on dating and describing the given hand, or view other manuscripts in the same hand. This website is a remarkably generous undertaking; if used properly, it is highly effective in instilling even a complete beginner with basic paleographical skills.


  17. It seems only appropriate to include a few words on sound. The Internet has, after all, permitted scholars to explore the medium of sound in a way never before possible with print. In addition to the many early music resources now available on the World Wide Web,[10] there have been valuable attempts to investigate links between sound and literary culture. Early Modern Literary Studies, for example, has produced a special issue on “Listening to the Early Modern,” in which six articles consider how sound can function as a category of critical enquiry in early modern studies. In the article, “Hearing Green: Logomarginality in Hamlet,” Bruce Smith embeds actual sound files into his text in order to recreate the acoustic matrix within which the character Hamlet would have defined himself in the original Globe Theater production ( We find another astute exploitation of the Internet’s sonic capabilities on the COPIA website at Cambridge University. Sidneiana, a resource for manuscript-based research relating to Sir Philip Sidney and his circle, features musical reconstructions of Philip Sidney’s Certain Sonnets 6 and Robert Sidney’s Song 12, complete with sound files ( Ventures such Bruce Smith’s “Hearing Green” and COPIA’s Sidneiana highlight the intellectual applicability of the Internet in the most salient terms. For they testify not merely to how the World Wide Web changes the medium through which we produce and consume scholarly work, but to how this medium permits us to enquire into cultural phenomena (such as aural experience) which would otherwise remain at the margins of early modern studies.

    Futures of Web-Based Scholarship

  18. What are the futures for the World Wide Web in early modern studies? One functionality of the Internet which has not yet been as widely drawn upon as hypertext, digitally scanned images, or sound, is video. And yet in the relatively small number of places where we do find video being deployed in our field, its pedagogical merits are strongly manifest. Alan Liu, for instance, webmaster of the vast Humanities website, Voice of the Shuttle (, features on his homepage a number of links to webcasts of important talks he has given ( There is also the “English Web Video Page” hosted by Arizona State University ( As well as presenting video files of departmental presentations on literary topics, the Web page archives “Professional Development Workshops,” in which faculty members advise audiences of advanced graduate students and junior faculty members on the academic job market. This latter resource will be of particular utility for someone who, for example, did their graduate studies in the UK but would like to work in North America. The “English Web and Video Page” provides an insider’s view into the kinds of expectations and protocols that underlie the North American job market. Finally, the Shakespeare Moot Court Project at McGill University – a radical attempt to find new formats for teaching students about the relationship between language and cultural value - is supported by a website that includes a video archive of past trials ( Here, the medium of video plays a key role in conveying to a wider academic community an important experiment in education, one which may not be fully communicable in a written description alone. It is hoped that the use of video technologies in early modern studies will continue to be expanded in years to come.

  19. Technological advance, however, is only one aspect of what will be involved in ensuring a progressive evolution for Web-based scholarship. There are also some important practical and theoretical issues which will need to be addressed. In the websites that have been considered here, I have been particularly struck by the extent to which the scholarly integrity of an online resource is affected by the design of its interface. The old Internet Shakespeare Editions website provides a perfect example of how a crude and confusing interface can unjustly diminish the sound scholarship that lies just beneath it. This is a new kind of problem for academics. In the case of printed books, establishing credibility has very little to do with interface. When someone tells us not to judge a book by its cover, this makes sense as piece of proverbial wisdom because we know – at least in the case of academic publishing - that what lies behind that cover will adhere to a relatively standard set of organizational criteria. This allows us to evaluate the intellectual content of a book in its own right, without having to be too concerned with how that content is being mediated. Digital interfaces, by contrast, are so varied and unpredictable that basic levels of formal coherence cannot be taken for granted. This changes our normal processes of scholarly assessment. Intellectual merit becomes much more difficult to judge in isolation from its mode of delivery. In cyber-space, form and content exist in a far more closely bound up relationship than they do in the world of print-based knowledge. Designers of academic websites need to be responsive to this, taking particular care to communicate the scholarly integrity of their resource through its interface. Towards this end, it seems essential that the international academic community eventually decide upon some shared set of criteria for organizing and designing their websites

  20. Another issue which I have seen emerge from this survey has to do with the handling of images. Some websites are very thorough in their documentation of pictorial material. REED, for instance, appears to be acutely aware of the status of their pictures as material evidence. The paintings, antiquarian maps, and ground plans that have been incorporated into the Web pages are treated with the same respect for origin and historical context as any textual matter. The same can be said of the images of watermarks in David Gants’s Digital Catalogue of Watermarks Used by William Stansby. But not all academic websites display such documentary scrupulousness. Sometimes images from early modern texts are used more as decoration than as evidence. This is the case of the satyr-figure we find on the Early Stuart Libels homepage (Fig. 8).

    Fig. 8. Early Stuart Libels Database: An Edition of Poetry from Manuscript Sources

    Is this a problem? Do we need to establish a more firm set of criteria for the use of images on scholarly websites? Part of me is tempted to answer “yes,” if only for the sake of upholding a certain standard of documentary consistency in Web-based scholarship. But actually applying such criteria would be less straightforward than it might seem. Things become complicated when we consider a website like English Handwriting, 1500-1700, in particular the sample alphabet that Zurcher has constructed from various manuscript sources (Fig. 9).


    Fig. 9. Letter “a” from English Handwriting, 1500-1700: An Online Course
    For none of these “a” images is textual provenance recorded; but I believe the omission was a wise decision. Demanding copious documentation in this case would just clutter the website, detracting from its coherence and, ultimately, its utility. The manuscript alphabet shows Zurcher doing exactly what he should be doing as a Web-designer/scholar: exploiting the vast visual possibilities afforded by Web-design to make a better pedagogical tool.

  21. Image handling, then, is a vexed issue. While shared standards of documentation are needed if we intend to use and trust Internet projects in the same way we do printed books, the essentially visual nature of Web-based knowledge can make such a demand seem counterproductive from a practical point of view. Equally vexed is the matter of interface design. For while it is of paramount importance that academics establish some system of structural and visual standardization for their websites, the diversity of uses to which Internet scholarship is being put will make agreeing on such standards an extremely difficult task. It is, nevertheless, crucial that we take these matters seriously. A first - if modest - step in that direction might be simply to acknowledge interface design and image-handling as concerns which are consequential to the future of Web-based scholarship, and to begin thinking about how these issues might be addressed as Humanities computing moves into its next phase.
    Some Closing Words

  22. The primary purpose of this article has been to gesture towards the variety of uses to which the Internet is being put in our field, with the underlying goal of helping early modernists locate WWW resources that connect meaningfully to their own teaching and research interests. Successfully navigating early modern studies on the World Wide Web does not mean trading one form of scholarly practice for another, newer one: it does not entail making a break from print-based scholarship. Resources such as Open Source Shakespeare or Internet Shakespeare Editions, for instance, do not stake their claim to our attention by being categorically ‘better’ than print editions from a textual or intellectual point of view. Rather, their usefulness lies in the fact that they possess functionalities which print editions do not have, and therefore represent a constructive adjunct to the print editions on the market. Likewise, the online paleography course, English Handwriting: 1500-1700, does not aim to replace or minimize the need to consult actual manuscripts in archives and research libraries. To the contrary, it seeks to encourage academics to continue working on location with primary sources by instilling in them the basic skills and confidence needed to do so. Navigating early modern studies on the World Wide Web, then, is about finding constructive continuities between traditional and technologically more progressive forms of scholarship; it involves building upon already-existent foundations of intellectual enquiry rather than obliterating or revolutionizing those foundations. Indeed, the most impressive Internet projects considered in this article – sites like the REED “Patrons and Performances Web Site,” English Handwriting, or the Digital Catalogue of Watermarks Used by William Stansby – were undertaken by academics, or teams of academics, who have strong groundings in time-honored fields such as bibliography, paleography, and book history. These resources issue a valuable reminder that the Internet is not just creating new disciplines for early modernists to delve into, but helping old disciplines to move forward in exiting ways.

  23. Our present position in the world of Web-based scholarship might aptly be compared to the position of textual editing at the turn of the twentieth century: a great deal of important work has been done, but all in the absence of any real formal, procedural, or scholarly standards. Finding ways of agreeing upon and implementing such criteria may very well prove to be one of the key challenges facing Humanities computing in the future.



Special thanks to Alastair Bellany and Andrew McRae, Michael Best, David Gants, Sally-Beth MacLean, and Andrew Zurcher for permission to use screen shots from their respective websites. Thanks as well to Katherine Acheson for helpful feedback on an earlier draft of this essay.

[1]  A useful review of Early English Books Online was written by Gabriel Egan and John Jowett. See “Review of the Early English Books Online (EEBO).” Interactive Early Modern Literary Studies (January, 2001): 1-13 <URL:>. For the Brown University Women Writers Project, see Elizabeth Hagglund, “Review of the Brown University Women Writers Project and the Perdita Project.” Interactive Early Modern Literary Studies (May, 2000): 1-9 <URL:>.

[2] For this, the reader is referred to the Center for Reformation and Renaissance Studies Web resources page (, the links page of the Cambridge English Renaissance Electronic Service (, or EMLS’s WWW resources page ( There are also a number of specialized annotated bibliographies of Internet resources. See, for example, Georgianna Zielgler’s “Women Writers Online: An Evaluation and Annotated Bibliography of Web Resources.” Early Modern Literary Studies 6.3 (January, 2001): 8.1-7<URL:>.

[3] See, in particular, the debates between Richard Levin and Alan Sinfield in Issue 2 (

[4] For an extremely advanced search engine, go to the excellent Open Source Shakespeare site, where you can search with precision across all or parts of Shakespeare’s canon for anything from individual words to individual characters’ lines (

[5] My gratitude to Michael Best, Coordinating Editor of the ISE project, for generously supplying me with URLs that gave me a sneak preview of the new interface before it was up and running.

[6] A detailed description and discussion of this website is supplied by Adam Smyth, “An Online Index of Poetry in Printed Miscellanies, 1640-1682.” Early Modern Literary Studies 8. 1 (May, 2002): 5.1-9<URL:>.

[7] My discussion of multimedia databases would, of course, have to be greatly expanded if resources for historians of Renaissance art were included. This essay confines itself to the field of literary studies, but for readers who are interested in consulting art history websites, the following links provide good listings: Art History Resources on the Web (; the Art and Architecture section of EMLS’s “WWW-Accessible Resources” page (

[8] For an emblem book database with a much more advanced search engine – and one serving a much larger collection – see the Emblem Books in Leiden website ( Unlike the English Emblem Book Project, however, this is not a multimedia archive, but a bibliographic catalogue.

[9] For an online course devoted to non-literary manuscripts, see Dave Postles’s Paleography Pages (

[10] includes an extensive page of “Early Music Files and Links” ( For midi files exclusively, see English Baroque Music ( or The Internet Renaissance Band (

 Websites Cited


Responses to this piece intended for the Readers' Forum may be sent to the Editor at

© 2006-, Matthew Steggle (Editor, EMLS).