From Smith Engravings Collection
Edgar Fahs Smith Memorial Library in the History of Chemistry
No information about the source of this engraving has been found.

Online texts that interest Traister are many and varied. With respect to ALL sources listed here, however, users should be VERY CAUTIOUS about the textual authority/authoritativeness of texts available online. That authority, like the weather, will vary--and, also like the weather, with some degree of unpredictibility.

Online publishers--even scholarly ones, if they cannot get permission from copyright holders of modern editions--frequently use out-of-copyright editions as the basis for the texts they scan and input. Thus the degree to which their texts might not pass muster with contemporary, or even relatively recent, textual scholars (and this without reference to the imperfections that can be produced by the process of scanning itself) is, too often for comfort, a question they would prefer you did not ask.

Increasingly, you can find scholarship about texts, as well as texts themselves, in electronic form. Its status (refereed? non-refereed?) can raise questions similar to those raised by the editorial practices that underlie online texts. In short: caveat lector.

That granted, several people have been thinking about what these texts, this Home Page, and the web itself are all about. See, for instance:

  1. Vannevar Bush, writing as long ago as 1945, and Martin S. Greenberg, writing nineteen years later
  2. Wendy M. Grossman, net.wars (New York: New York University Press, 1998)
  3. Stanley N. Katz, "A Computer is Not a Typewriter, or Getting Right with Information Technology in the Humanities"
  4. Scholarly Uses of the Web
  5. John Tolva, "Ut Pictura Hyperpoesis: Spatial Form, Visuality, and the Digital Word"
  6. (English version; a site for a commercial venture where people are thinking about the impact of the web)
  7. James A. Dewar, "The Information Age and the Printing Press: Looking Backward to See Ahead" (RAND)
  8. David J. Farber's home page (Penn)

  9. A different view is provided by William H. Gass, "Gutenberg's Triumph: An Essay in Defense of the Book"

An electronic discussion group called HUMANIST exists to facilitate academic consideration of online computing and its uses, including online texts.

Alex: A Catalog of Electronic Texts on the Internet can be consulted via the Web.

The On-Line Books Page from the University of Pennsylvania Library web provides a wealth of resources

Athenaeum: A Free Virtual Library is Zachary Chandler's effort (at Duke University) "to monitor online library projects and provide a convenient gateway to superior sources."

One basic online text (available here to Penn users; guests may apply at the EB's URL, is the Encyclopedia Britannica. Another is OED. See also the OED site. A specialized dictionary resource (for early modern usage) is The Early Modern English Dictionaries Database.

Chadwyck-Healey's Literature Online, a full-text searchable online database, is currently available to people with valid Penn i.p.s

Also available only to people with valid Penn i.p.s is The Johns Hopkins Guide to Literary Theory & Criticism

Two amazingly useful literary sites include:

The Bible:


  1. Generally, see:
    1. Jack Lynch's Renaissance resources
    2. The Online Medieval and Classical Library
    3. Renaissance Electronic Texts
    4. Early Modern Literary Studies: Electronic Texts
    5. See the various "Alchemy"--now called "Luminaria"--databases, which include medieval, Renaissance, and seventeenth-century texts, at
    6. Perseus Project (Tufts University; so far [9 May 1997], this is a list of texts planned for inclusion at this site)
    7. Center for Electronic Text & Image (in early stages of development and operation at the University of Pennsylvania's Van Pelt-Dietrich Library's Department of Special Collections)
    8. Proper Elizabethan Accents is, as it name indicates, a specialized resource (and can require plug-ins for sound)

  2. The web provides multiple texts of and information about William Shakespeare.

    These include texts scanned from early editions in the Horace Howard Furness Memorial [Shakespeare] Library of the Department of Special Collections at the University of Pennsylvania's Van Pelt-Dietrich Library. Now available are texts that include (but are not limited to):

    1. the 1611 quarto edition of Hamlet
    2. the 1623 First Folio edition of Hamlet
    3. William D'Avenant's Hamlet, 1676
    4. the "1608" [i.e., 1619] quarto edition of King Lear
    5. the 1623 First Folio edition of King Lear
    6. Nahum Tate's The History of King Lear, 1681
    7. King Lear, as edited by Alexander Pope, 1723

    A Useful Teaching Tool for Shakespearians (from The Onion)

  3. Other Shakespearian links--very numerous, as one would expect--include:

    1. MIT's Shakespeare Home Page

    2. World Shakespeare Bibliography Online

    3. Mr. William Shakespeare and the Internet

    4. Internet Shakespeare Editions, including Sites on Shakespeare and the Renaissance and Shakespeare's Life and Times, from Michael Best, University of Victoria

    5. The McGill Shakespeare Resources Page

    6. The Shakespeare Web

    7. Shake Sphere

    8. Shakespeare's Globe Online

    9. Surfing for Shakespeare: English Renaissance Literature on the Web (from C. M. Bajetta, Research Fellow and University Lecturer, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Milano)

    10. A. C. Bradley, Shakespearean Tragedy

    11. Materials for the Construction of Shakespeare's Morals: The Stoic Legacy to the Renaissance. Major Ethical Authorities, Indexed According to Virtues, Vices, and Characters from the Plays, as well as Topics in Swift, Pope, and Wordsworth: The Full Texts in English Translation, Scanned, Digitized, Commented on and Annotated (from Ben R. Schneider, Lawrence University, Appleton, WI)

    12. The Julius Caesar Site (Tufts University)

    13. Sir Peter Hall's Troilus and Cressida and the Tradition of the Play

    14. Shake-speares Sonnets (1609), ed. Hardy M. Cook and Ian Lancashire (Renaissance Electronic Texts [RET 3.1])

    15. The Folger Shakespeare Library

    16. Hilda D. Spear, "The Elizabethan Theatre" (from the Universiteit Köln)

    17. Shakespeare database CD-ROM information

    18. Shakespeare's will (facsimile)

    19. Shakespeare Illustrated (NOTE: one of the most interesting nineteenth-century artists who also illustrated Shakespeare was Richard Dadd (1817-1886))

    20. Laurie Osborn's home page (with material on writing critically about Shakespeare in hyperspace)

    21. Rebecca Bushnell's Home Page (relevant to Renaissance literary studies generally as well as to Shakespeare studies)

    22. The Hamlet Home Page

    23. Bernice Kliman's Enfolded Hamlet

    24. King Lear: The Complete Text (with Quarto and Folio Variations), Annotations, and Commentary (Larry A. Brown)

    25. Ed Friedlander's "Enjoying King Lear" Page

    26. Cordelia, King Lear, and His Fool (a King Lear website)

    27. Shakespeare Festivals on the WWW

    28. The Shakespeare Globe Centre Australia Inc. is a charitable organisation with a broad charter of the promotion of Shakespearean arts and education in Australia

    29. Shakespeare Magazine (web version)

    30. Educating Shakespeare (School life in Elizabethan England -- from Keith Parker and the Guild School Association of Stratford-upon-Avon)

    31. Norman N. Holland, "My Shakespeare in Love"

    32. Poor Yorick Shakespeare Multimedia Catalogue (a commercial site for Shakespeare productions)

  4. contemporary with Shakespeare is Christopher Marlowe

  5. John Webster's The Duchess of Malfi is available online (Larry A. Brown).

  6. see also the Thomas Middleton Home Page

  7. Gabriel Egan's Non-Shakespearean Drama Database

  8. Cambridge English Renaissance Electronic Service

  9. Richard Bear's Renascence Editions: Works in English, 1500-1799 (University of Oregon) makes available many works, including (but not limited to):
    1. Everyman
    2. Thomas More, History of King Richard III
      • other Renaissance Ricardian texts (most of them excerpted) are accessible through a website created by the American branch of the Richard III Society
    3. Sir Thomas Hoby's 1561 translation of Baldesar Castiglione's Book of the Courtier
    4. Roger Ascham, The Scholemaster (1570)
    5. George Gascoigne's The Steele Glas & the Complaynt of Philomene (1576)
    6. William Goddard, A Neaste of VVaspes (1615)
    7. Sir Philip Sidney's Defence of Poetry, The Lady of May, and Astrophil and Stella
    8. Robert Garnier's Tragedie of Antonie, translated by Mary Sidney, Countess of Pembroke (1595)
    9. Thomas Campion, The Art of English Poesie
    10. Samuel Daniel, Delia and Samuel Daniel, A Defence of Rhyme
    11. Henry Constable, Diana (1594)
    12. Lady Mary Wroth, Pamphilia to Amphilanthus
    13. The King and Queenes Entertainement at Richmond (September 12, 1636)

  10. Richard Bear's general site provides many additional texts, to say nothing of his own works

  11. Edmund Spenser: The Edmund Spenser Home Page makes available Edmund Spenser's Faerie Queene, Shepherd's Calendar, Four Hymns, and much else; see also Spenser On-Line

  12. Sir Philip Sidney:
    1. The Philip Sidney Home Page
    2. Sidney Journal
    3. Sir Philip Sidney Online

    From Geoffrey Whitney, A choice of emblemes . . . (Leiden: Christopher Plantin, 1586), sig. E1r (p. 38);
    the gift to Traister of Francis O. Mattson

  13. Bibliotheca Augustana (Latin texts: ancient, medieval, post-medieval--NOTE: "AppleMac et Netscape his paginis optimum visum dant!")

  14. C.E.T.E.: Centre d'Edition de Textes Electroniques (various medieval and later texts, in French)

  15. Schoenberg Center For Electronic Text & Image, The Walter H. And Leonore Annenberg Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Van Pelt-Dietrich Library, University of Pennsylvania

  16. Renaissance Electronic Texts, already listed above, includes The Elizabethan Homilies 1623 and Robert Cawdrey's Table alphabetical of hard usual English words (1604)

  17. Giovanni Baptista della Porta's Natural Magick (in English translation)

  18. Francis F. Steen's Reftoration Print Culture (sic; the site's title uses a swash "f rather than a long "s")

  19. Is he "medieval" or "Renaissance"? Whatever . . . see Otfried Lieberknecht's Homepage for Dante Studies.

  20. Emblem books:
    1. Alciato's Book of emblems
    2. Compendio de Emblemas Españoles Ilustrados, by John T. Cull, Antonio Bernat Vistarini, and Edward J. Vodoklys, S.J. (Universitat de les Illes Balears and the College of the Holy Cross, Worcester, MA)
    3. Glasgow University Emblem Website
    4. Emblem Books in Leiden. A Catalogue of the Collections of Leiden University Library
    5. The English Emblem Book Project (Penn State University)
    6. Pietro Vasolli da Fivizano's Italian translation of Horapollon's Hieroglyphica (printed by Giolito, Venice 1547)
    7. Studiolum also provides Horapollo, as well as several other texts

  21. Amaro Lagrimar: The Poems of Vittoria Colonna -- in an English translation by Ellen Moody
    1. See Moody's essay about translating Colonna
    2. See also the larger site -- Three Women Poets (Veronica Gambara, Vittoria Colonna, and Anne Kingsmill Finch, Countess of Winchilsea) -- of which the Colonna site is part

  22. Golden Age Spanish Sonnets

  23. John Donne

  24. Printed Heritage of Newfoundland and Labrador, sixteenth- and seventeenth-century texts (as of September 1996, all English-language), mounted by Professor Hans-Josef Rollmann, Religious Studies, Memorial University of Newfoundland

  25. John Dee and the English Calendar (this is a paper about this subject)

  26. For alchemy, see Adam McLean's Alchemy Web Site

  27. Electronic Texts in the History of Medicine (i.e., popular medical works, 16th through 18th centuries), from the Historical Medical Library, Yale University; see, e.g., Nicholas Culpeper, The English Physitian (1652).

  28. WWW Virtual Library: History of Science, Technology & Medicine (from the Australian Science Archives Project and the University of Melbourne; texts are from many periods, not the Renaissance only)

  29. See also GGRENir: Internetography on Renaissance intellectual history. This site is organized by Dr. Heinrich C. Kuhn, Seminar für Geistesgeschichte der Renaissance, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München. The entire site is worth extensive exploration. Of special additional interest may be Kuhn's resources in intellectual history,

  30. Aemilia Lanyer

  31. Bartleby has mounted, e.g., Chapman's Homer.

  32. Pre-1600 English Balads

  33. The Richard Lovelace Page

  34. Among sites devoted to John Milton are:
    1. The Milton Reading Room (Thomas H. Luxon, Dartmouth College)
    2. The Milton-L Home Page
    3. The Milton Review
    4. John Milton's Paradise Lost
    5. John Milton
    See also the texts mounted by Richard Bear's Renascence Editions:
    1. Areopagitica
    2. Comus, A Masque
    3. Milton: Shorter Poems
    4. Of Education
    5. Paradise Lost (1667; in 10 books)
    6. Paradise Regained
    7. Samson Agonistes

  35. Renaissance Texts Research Centre, University of Reading (U.K.).

  36. Early Modern Literary Studies (the periodical, not the texts, for which, see above).

  37. Elizabethan monetary equivalents

Take special note of Meng Wong's concordance program, which can perform an astonishing variety of tasks with e-texts that have been downloaded in machine-readable form. If you wonder what these tasks might be, read the program's introductory matter carefully.


Traister's literature page includes sites relevant to many periods and individual authors. The principles by which its listings differ from those to be found here are obscure, even to Traister; they may not, in fact, exist; therefore the curious, the needy, or those with time to kill should look at both places.

  1. The Oxford Book of English Verse, ed. Arthur Quiller-Couch

  2. Representative Poetry On-Line (University of Toronto)

  3. Bartlett's Quotations

  4. Eighteenth-century resources (from Jack Lynch's Home Page)

  5. Anthologies and Miscellanies

  6. The Rape of the Lock Home Page

  7. Jonathan Swift, Gulliver's Travels

  8. The Spectator Project (from Rutgers University: "an interactive hypermedia environment for the study of The Tatler (1709-1711), The Spectator (1711-14), and the eighteenth-century periodical in general")

  9. The Hume Archives

  10. Rictor Norton's Homosexuality in Eighteenth-Century England: A Sourcebook

  11. William Blake; see also The William Blake Archive at the University of Virginia

  12. Samuel Taylor Coleridge and William Wordsworth, Lyrical Ballads

  13. William Godwin

  14. Eliza Parsons, The Castle of Wolfenbach (1793), a gothic novel in HTML

  15. Pierre Bayle's Dictionnaire historique et critique (1740 edition), a text available experimentally from Chicago's ARTFL Project.

  16. Also available from Chicago's ARTFL Project is Diderot, et al., L'encyclopédie. See also Dictionnaire de l'Académie, 5th Edition, 1798 (Year VII); an ALPHA release of this resource, using a very simple headword search engine, is currently available at

  17. Various Jane Austen links include:

    Watercolor portrait [of Jane Austen?]
    laid into the University of Pennsylvania's copy of
    Jane Austen, Emma (London 1816)

    1. JaneInfo (Henry Churchyard's wonderful site, with annotated hypertexts),
    2. Melanie Kraft's Jane Austen site, and
    3. James Dawe's Jane Austen site.
    4. Recent Austen movies:
    5. Information is available about the Pride and Prejudice (BBC) broadcast in the USA early in 1996 (A&E).
    6. Broadcast on A&E on Sunday, February 16, 1997 (some repetitions followed, and more may follow yet again), was a generally decent version of Emma (better than the recent movie, until the end).

    Here is the newly rediscovered and Hollywoodized Ms. Austen
    in her most recent portrait:

  18. Greenwood's Map of London 1827 (a slow and pokey link)

  19. American Authors on the Web (from the incredible home page of Mitsuharu Matsuoka, Nagoya University)

  20. Nathaniel Hawthorne

  21. The Complete Writings and Pictures of Dante Gabriel Rossetti: A Hypermedia Research Archive (Jerome McGann, University of Virginia)

  22. WOMDA: The Wilfred Owen Multimedia Digital Archive and the even broader World War I literature site

  23. International Theodore Dreiser Society; see also Theodore Dreiser at the University of Pennsylvania Library and Nancy M. Shawcross, curator, "Sister Carrie: 'A Strangely Strong Novel in a Queer Milieu'"

  24. Kenneth Rexroth, Communalism: From Its Origins to the Twentieth Century is part of a larger online Rexroth archive

  25. Christian Classics Ethereal Library--this site, hosted at Michigan's Calvin College, provides access to many medieval and early modern texts, as well as more recent ones--e.g., the Early Church Fathers; early Church Fathers are also available from a site calleded The Fathers of the Church, which similarly offers many additional basic Christian texts

  26. A Digitized Library of Southern Literature: Beginnings to 1920

  27. Modern American Poetry (Cary Nelson, University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana)

  28. CAPA: Contemporary American Poetry Archive

  29. The Internet Poetry Archive

  30. Braun and Schneider, The History of Costume (ca. 1861-1880)

  31. Ten Thousand Dreams Interpreted: Gustavus Hindman Miller, What's in a Dream? A Scientific and Practical Interpretation of Dreams (1901)

  32. Electronic Poetry Center (University of Buffalo)

  33. The Moore Collection of Underground Comix (California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, CA)

  34. classics in translation; and see also the classics listings on Traister's literature page

  35. the "wiretap" e-text archive

  36. Bibliomania

  37. Intergo Free Library

  38. Kid A In Alphabet Land: An Abecedarian Roller Coaster Ride Through The Phallocentric Obscurantism Of Jacques Lacan

  39. Bureau of Public Secrets (extensive selections from Ken Knabb's Situationist International Anthology)


Other text resources of interest to Traister can be found on his somewhat fuller list of electronic journals as well as on his more general literature page, mentioned above.

  1. Here is a version of Chadwyck-Healey's Online English Poetry Database available to Penn users only;

  2. the University of Virginia, provides public access to electronic texts; by contrast, however, Virginia also has this link, which provides severely limited access to texts for non-UVa personnel

  3. Additional information about the product may be found at the Chadwyck-Healey Home Page.

  4. See also the The Electronic Text Center at the University of Virginia --

  5. -- as well as its Electronic Archive of Early American Fiction)

  6. The University of Michigan Humanities Text Initiative is worth a look-see

  7. as is Michigan's Digital Library

  8. and its Making of America project --

  9. -- sponsored jointly with Cornell University, from whom additional materals for the Making of America are also available

  10. as a subset of Cornell's larger Digital Library site

  11. University of Toronto English Library

  12. UNC-Chapel Hill's MetaLab

  13. which includes sites such as e-publications

  14. a virtual exhibit of 18th and 19th century African-American literature

  15. and the Library of Southern Literature.

  16. The Draft MLA guidelines on evaluating computer-related work in modern languages is a document found at the University of Virginia's Institute for Advanced Technology in the Humanities, a site well worth exploration for many additional reasons --

  17. -- indicative of its range, see, e.g., IATH's related readings resource

  18. Kali Tal, et al., The Sixties Project

  19. or Duane Osheim, Plague and Public Health in Renaissance Europe (the main link takes you, inter alia, to the William Blake and Dante Gabriel Rosetti projects, as well as to papers by Jerome McGann--and to other useful UVa sites, as well)

  20. Alan Filreis is at work on a project (intensely interesting to Traister) whose progress can be followed at The Fifties' Thirties.

  21. A wide-ranging list of available online texts is maintained by Jack Lynch. Another e-text archive maintained by the University of Pennsylvania is also worth exploring, as is another maintained by Penn's Library, the Schoenberg Center for Electronic Text & Image site; and the On-line Book List. In addition, see

  22. Rutgers's Center for Electronic Texts in the Humanities

  23. Oxford's HUMBUL (Humanities Bulletin) (from Oxford University Computing Services's Humanities page)

  24. The English Server

  25. Electronic Library

  26. Open eBook Initiative

  27. Project Gutenberg

  28. A Celebration of Women Writers

  29. Books and Stories Online

  30. Western European Literature (from WESS/ACRL/ALA)

  31. An Online Literature Library

  32. The use of computers in the humanities (which includes, inter alia, creation and analysis of electronic texts) is the special purview of Humanist.

" . . . I wonder if I might call your attention to an observation of the Emperor Marcus Aurelius. He said: 'Does aught befall you? It is good. It is part of the destiny of the Universe ordained for you from the beginning. All that befalls you is part of the great web'."
I breathed a bit stertorously.
"He said that, did he?"
"Yes, sir."
"Well, you can tell him from me he's an ass."
P. G. Wodehouse, The Mating Game (1949), chap. 4

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