Thursday, April 28, 2011

New: Literary Manuscript Collections

17th and 18th century poetry from the Brotherton Library, University of Leeds

This path-breaking project offers literary scholars the opportunity to examine complete facsimile images of 190 manuscripts of 17th and 18th century verse held in the celebrated Brotherton Collection at the University of Leeds. These manuscripts can be read and explored in conjunction with the powerful BCMSV database, described in a recent survey of first-line indices for poetry of the long eighteenth century (c.1660-1830) as "the most sophisticated and flexible index yet created for a collection of manuscript poetry".¹ The database includes first lines, last lines, attribution, author, title, date, length, verse form, content and bibliographic references for over 6,600 poems within the collection.

Alongside original compositions are painstakingly copied verses, translations, songs and riddles. The whole collection is situated within an assortment of manuscripts, some entirely dedicated to poetry, while others contain medicinal recipes, household accounts, draft letters, musical scores and plays. There are also several printed works, with handwritten verse additions.

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