Have I mentioned lately how much I love the internet? In the February/March issue of Bookforum they have a small article about web-based texts in which they list a number of projects and websites that are making author archives available. If I’m excited to explore some of these sites, I know somebody else out there will be too.

  • Jonathan Edwards Center. Hosted by Yale, the public has access to about 25,000 pages of Edward’s writing some of which has never been published. And it looks like there will be more to come.
  • Walt Whitman Archive has facsimile and e-text versions of Whitman’s work available including all the editions of Leaves of Grass. There is also a biography, essays, photos, and a slew of other Whitman stuff so you can “sing the body electric.”
  • The William Blake Archive. The site is sponsored by the Library of Congress and in addition to Blake’s texts, also includes illuminated books, drawings and engravings.
  • The Complete Work of Charles Darwin Online. This site has, well, the complete work of Charles Darwin. But that’s not all. There are also handwritten manuscripts, a Darwin bibliography, and over 180 ancillary texts. A great looking site for the highly evolved.
  • The Manuscripts of Madame Bovary. The site is in French so you’ll have to have Google translate it for you unless, of course, you know French. There are more than 4,000 pages of drafts and forty-six folios available here including maps and scenarios sketched by M. Flaubert himself.
  • The Works of Ralph Waldo Emerson. This site is the one I find most exciting at the moment. I don’t know how I missed this page when I looked for Emerson stuff online. Along with his complete published works they also encourage people to send in essays about Emerson and their experience with his work. I’m going to have to investigate that further. It might be fun to put something together about my Emerson project.

If you know of any other great web archives like these, I’d love to hear about them. Leave a comment and the link that way we can all benefit.

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