Beck Center English Dept. University Libraries Emory University
Emory Women Writers Resource Project Collections:
Emory Women Writers Resource Project

About the Emory Women Writers Resource Project

The current Emory Women Writers Resource Project site represents the joining of the original EWWRP site and the Womens Genre Fiction site.

The Emory Women Writers Resource Project began in 1994 as pedagogical tool designed to offer graduate and undergraduate students the opportunity to create critical editions of texts. Examples of student editions are available under the Essays link. The project has expanded each year to include new texts. The texts are digitized by graduate students, and marked up in XML according to the Text Encoding Initiative standards. The texts have been selected in consultation with Dr. Sheila Cavanagh of the English Department, the editor of the site.

In 2002 the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) awarded a grant to create an online database of American and British genre fiction written by and about women in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries to the Emory Women Writers Resource Project (EWWRP) of Emory University. Spanning from the 1860's through the 1920's, the period addressed by the project roughly coincides with the peak of the popularity of dime novels. Emory's Robert W. Woodruff Library houses an extensive collection of detective, crime, and romance novels and provided the source texts for this digitization project. The Women's Genre Fiction Project publishes an unprecedented collection of female-authored and female-centered texts from a range of genres, as well as the largest searchable database of digitized genre fiction.

During the three-year project, staff selected, digitally converted, proofread, and encoded 100,000 pages from hundreds of literary texts. All texts were marked up in XML, using the Text Encoding Initiative's (TEI) Document Type Definition (DTD). Project staff captured pages as archival quality TIFF images and archived a copy of each file for preservation purposes. All encoded files have been added to the existing database that hosts the EWWRP.

The project's editorial board expects the project to accomplish two principal objectives. First, the database will expand access to a significant facet of American and British culture. The electronic publication of women's genre fiction makes these novels widely available in searchable, digital form for the first time. By disseminating texts that have been under-represented in library collections, the database will facilitate scholarly work and teaching in a range of areas, including American and British history and literature, late nineteenth- and early twentieth-century culture, and women's studies. Second, publishing these works in electronic format will reduce unnecessary handling of the fragile originals, thus helping to preserve them.

Navigating the Site

The site is divided into collections: Genre Fiction, including the 250 novels digitized by the Beck Center under the NEH grant; Early Modern literature through the 18th century; Early 20th century literature; World War I poetry; Native American texts; Abolition, Freedom, and Rights; and Women's Advocacy texts. Some texts appear in more than one collection.

The texts may be accessed by searching or browsing. In the browse view the default listing is by author, but using the links below the title of the work, users may view texts by title, ethnicity of the author, geographic location of the author, subject, publisher, or genre. In addition, where spine images are available, books may be viewed as on a bookshelf. Clicking the spine will take the user to the table of contents.

Users may search by keyword from any page; if you are in a collection, the keyword query will search that collection. To search the entire collection select the Emory Women Writers Resource Project link at the top of the collections. In addition, users may access an advanced search which allows searching by author, title, date, and subject fields. The advanced search offers suggestions based on the material in the collection.

Whether browsing or searching, the list view presents the first 20 results. To view more results click "Next" on the navigation bar, or use the jump list on the right to jump to any set of 20.

Search results are returned with the highest frequency of hits first. To see the search result in a brief context, click on the number of hits. To view the text with highlighted results, click on the table of contents in the keyword view. Clicking on the title in the results list goes to the table of contents of the work.

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