Word Circuits




Reading Room

The Classics

The Complete Works of William Shakespeare
Hosted by MIT.
The Electronic Text Center (University of Virginia)
A huge Modern English Collection of poetry, fiction, and nonfiction dating from 1500 to the present, with about 1,100 of these works accessible to the public. Some texts include illustrations. Includes a search engine for finding words or phrases anywhere in the collection. Also smaller collections of Middle English work and British poetry (1780-1910).
Humanities Text Initiative (University of Michigan)
This site includes three valuable literary archives open to public access: The Public Domain Modern English Collection contains over 300 works of poetry, fiction, and nonfiction, many culled from other electronic repositories and not all of them proofread. The other two collections adhere to professional standards of editorship. The American Verse Project offers over 50 volumes of poetry published before 1920 by American poets both well-known and obscure. The Middle English Collection contains work from the 12th to 15th centuries. Each collection is searchable. Administered by the University of Michigan and University of Michigan Press.
The Internet Classics Archive (MIT)
Almost 400 classical Greek and Roman texts in English translation.
A database of 1,000 love poems selected from the holdings of Chadwyck-Healey’s Literature Online.
Literature Online (LION)
Chadwyck-Healey’s huge searchable database of literature, including over 200,000 poems, 4,000 plays, and nearly 300 works of fiction. Mostly public-domain material, but includes the work of over 50 contemporary British poets. Subscriptions are aimed at libraries and range from about $900 to $20,000. The site also hosts a writer-in-residence page that is accessible to the public for free.
Poem Finder (Roth Publishing)
A searchable database containing the full text of more than 40,000 poems, mostly public-domain work. Subscriptions start at $600/year.
Project Bartleby (Columbia University)
Over 35 public-domain books of poetry, fiction, drama, and nonfiction. Especially strong on 19th-Century and early 20th-Century poetry. Unlike the holdings of most similar archives, all the on-line versions here adhere to the highest editorial standards, guaranteeing 100% accuracy in the conversions from print sources. All work is based on authoritative printed versions and nicely presented, often with critical commentary. A search engine makes the site especially valuable, letting you hunt through the entire collection for specific words or phrases. The Columbia archive is no longer growing, but the project's editor has launched the New Bartleby Library, an independent archive of classics that includes The Oxford Book of English Verse.
Project Gutenberg
Over 1,300 public-domain books of poetry, fiction, and nonfiction in plain-text (ASCII) format. Begun in 1971, this ongoing project aims at digitizing 10,000 classic books by the year 2001. The editorial procedures aren't rigorously controlled and don't aim at authoritative editions.



Contact site director Robert Kendall at kendall@wordcircuits.com.
Visit Kendall's Home Page for more material.
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