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Internet Resources for English Studies: Literary Collections

Literary Collections

19th Century Women Writers

This resource features full-text writings of 19th century American women.

African American Women Writers of the 19th Century

From the New York Public Library's Schomberg Collection, this resource is an electronic archive of texts by and about African American women. is comprised of a body of electronic versions of classic texts, including literature, nonfiction, and reference works.

British Women Romantic Poets, 1789-1832

A scholarly archive of electronic editions of poetry by British women written between 1789 (the onset of the French Revolution) and 1832 (the passage of the Reform Act), a period traditionally known in English literary history as the Romantic period.

The Complete Works of William Shakespeare

The Web's first edition of the Complete Works of William Shakespeare. Full text of Shakespeare's comedies, hisotories, and tragedies are available.

Dime Novels and Penny Dreadfuls

Stanford's Dime Novel and Story Paper Collection has over 8,000 items representing a once popular genre from the second half of the 19th Century. It represents a significant, but poorly represented part of literary history.

English Literature: Minority Studies

From the extensive humanities metasite Voice of the Shuttle, this site points to numerous other sites about African American, Native American, Hispanic American, Asian American, Jewish, and Pacific Islander writers and their work.

The Harvard Classics and Harvard Classics Shelf of Fiction, 1909-1917

These two collections represent the best and most valuable writings from the past. In an effort to bring the benefits of a liberal arts education to the general public, they have been made available online for all to read by Also included is a special volume of lectures originally composed for the set that introduce the reader to some of the primary themes of the included works.


A beautifully illustrated resource, featuring the full text of many Medieval, Renaissance, and 17th Century literary works. Luminarium also makes accessible in-depth biographical material, criticism, and images of the writers of these eras.

The Mark Twain Papers & Project

The Mark Twain Papers & Project, based out of the Bancroft Library at the University of California, Berkeley, "makes it possible to read virtually every document in Mark Twain's hand known to survive" for library visitors. On-line visitors have access to exhibits, databases of incoming and outgoing letters, photographs, and more.

Project Gutenburg

A major collection of electronic versions of classic English-language literature.

Rain Taxi

Committed to spreading the word about the best in contemporary literature, this website reviews and gives access to current literary fiction, poetry, and non-fiction. Press profiles, interviews, and in-depth reviews reflect Rain Taxi's commitment to innovative publishing that often falls outside the purview of mainstream review media.

Victorian Women Writers Project

A large collection of writings by British women of the Victorian Era, including anthologies, novels, political pamphlets, and volumes of poetry and verse drama.

The Walt Whitman Archive

A hypermedia environment for studying the life and works of the nineteenth-century American poet Walt Whitman. The archive is a structured database holding digitized images of Whitman's works in their original documentary forms. Whitman's poetical manuscripts, early printed texts, proofs, and first editions are included. The materials are designed to accomodate electronic search and analysis, and they are supplied with full scholarly annotations and notes.

The Willa Cather Archive

A homepage that includes criticism of Cather's work, biographical information, and the full-text of many of her novels, short stories, poems, and essays.

The William Blake Archive

A beautifully illustrated archive of the works of William Blake.