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Tips for Adding Content to Victorian Contexts

Page history last edited by Dr. Kaston Tange 14 years ago

Choosing a Text to Add to VictorianContexts

Please read through these tips carefully as you are beginning your project.  Even if you don't think you have these questions, you may find useful information here that will help you produce the best possible results.


Where do I find articles? 

If one of the points of this site is to put online articles/images that are not already easily available online, then one default choice—search the Internet—just became your least useful search form.  So, where else can you look?



Nineteenth-Century Masterfile This subscription-only database has collected a range of print indices to periodicals and series including: Poole's Index to Periodical Literature (1802-1906), Stead's Index to Periodicals (1890-1902), Nineteenth Century Monographs File, Nineteenth Century Serials Masterfile, and Library Journal Cumulative Index (1876-1897).  If your library has a subscription to this database, it is an excellent resource for one-stop-shopping, as you can search by date, by subject, or by author.  You will then, of course, still have to locate the volume(s) containing the articles/illustrations in which you are interested.


London Times Index  This subscription-only database catalogues articles in the London Times newspaper (published daily since 1785).  It is an excellent place to locate information related to political events, social policies, and other things that might be reported as news or commented upon by readers.  The Letters to the Editor section often contained long and detailed letters that reveal much about public opinion.



Many libraries that cannot afford to subscribe to the electronic versions of databases nonetheless have print versions of the indices from which the electronic databases were created.  For print materials, try the following:

Poole’s Index to Periodical Literature 1802-1906

Stead's Index to Periodicals 1890-1902

Nineteenth Century Literary Criticism  This book collection (whose index is cross referenced with the Dictionary of Literary Biography and with Twentieth Centiry Literary Criticism) has entries by author and by title.  If you are interested, for example, in things written about Jane Eyre, you can look up either the novel's title or Charlotte Bronte.  Under the entry for Jane Eyre, you will find brief excerpts of articles written about the novel, starting from when the novel was first published.  This is an excellent resource for locating the references for reviews contemporary with the novel's initial publication.  Although the full-text of the review is not published here, the complete reference is, so that you can then locate the whole review.


Please note: I am sure there are many more books and databases out there that index materials in fields with which I am less familiar, such as Art or the History of Science.  Please contact the wiki owner to suggest other resources to add to this list.


Browse Collections

If your library has a print run of any 19th-century periodicals, you might try browsing the shelves.  If you don’t know the names of any 19th-century periodicals, check this Wikipedia page which lists many periodicals and includes their dates of publication.  Armed with titles, you can do searches to see what your library owns.  Then pull down volumes published in the same year as other texts in which you are interested, and start browsing.  You have just become an archival researcher!


Read Bibliographies and Footnotes

Often, you will find that other scholars have done some of your hunting for you, as they have access to richly-stocked research libraries.  The footnotes and bibliographies of recent articles and books often yeild references to relevant articles and contemporary reviews of fiction, discussions of exhibitions, guidelines for architectural competitions, and much more published by writers working out of the same cultural moment.



What if I want to use illustrations?

Great!  Do be sure to consider the issues mentioned below, in terms of availability, copyright, and so on.


Please note that images can only be inserted directly into a page if they are .jpg files.  Save all PDF files in a .jpg format before uploading them, in order to ensure that they will load properly.


Also, please be aware that you can set the parameters of your image to different resolutions (image quality), as well as scale the size of the finished images.  Whether you adjust these through your scanner settings before you scan the image, or your adjust them through some kind of editing program once you have the image scanned, please be aware that images larger than approximately 700 pixels in width will be too wide for viewers to see in their entirety on this screen.  If you do not have image manipulation software, you can also easily adjust the size of your image once you have uploaded it to the site. 


Here's how to resize an image: Once you upload your image, click on it, so that a black border appears around the image. You will see a tiny box in each corner of the image.  Click and drag one corner box to rescale the image.  Pixel measurements will appear as you size the image up or down.  When the first number (horizontal pixel measurement) is close to 700, you are at the maximum size for your image.  If it is tall, your image may need to be less than 700 wide in order for people to view it clearly. Play around with the image size until it is viewer-friendly.



How do I know if I've chosen a good text to add?

Before you choose a text to annotate, it is worthwhile checking whether this text is already widely available online.  You can do this in one of several ways. 


First, you have to be interested in the text and think others will be too.  We recommend starting with a short list of 3-4 texts you might like to pursue, and then considering the following criteria as well.


Second, check the list below to find out what volumes/issues/years of 19th century periodicals are available full-text (typically in PDF files) online.  If the article you are interested in is contained in one of these volumes, then you may wish to choose another article that is less available.

Again, I'd appreciate any additions to this list you can offer.


Third, do a Google search for the title of the article (use " ") around the title to see if it already exists in a full-text online outside of the volume in which it was originally published.



What else should I consider before starting a project here?

Before finalizing your choice of a text to add to this site, please carefully check the appropriate pages to ensure that this text is not already located here.


While any text original to the Victorian period is now out of copyright, it is EXTREMELY important that you either transcribe the text yourself or provide a PDF of the ORIGINAL source.  If you scan a reprinted version of the text, then you may be violating copyright laws by posting online a version that is still under copyright.  If you have any questions about this, please see your instructor before posting a text here.


As soon as you choose a text and begin a project, please create a link to it from the appropriate category page(s), so that it's easy for everyone to keep tabs on what is in-progress.  Consider whether it would be useful to include a link to your project from more than one of the categories.  Such cross-listing can be very helpful to other users. 


The following directions also appear on Directions for Adding Pages, which will open in a separate window for easy reference.


Building a Page on this site requires two main steps. 


First, create the page. 

  1. Click the "Create a page" link at the top right of the sidebar. 
  2. Name it carefully: the page name is the one thing you will not be able to edit once you get started on your project.  (The site will allow you to edit the page name, but if you do so, all links to your page will break.)
  3. Place the page into a folder if your professor has created one for your class. 
  4. Choose the "use a template" option, and choose the "Add a Text Template" from the dropdown menu of templates. 
  5. Click on "Create page."  
  6. Then click "Save" in the bottom left corner of the resulting page.


Second, once the page is created, you need to archive it on the appropriate subject area page(s).  Let's say your project is about fallen women, so you'd like to archive it on the "Gender and Sexuality" page and on the "Working-Class Life" page. 

  1. Open the "Gender and Sexuality" page (via the Front Page).
  2. Click "edit" on the tab up above.
  3. Enter the bibliographic information for your project in the correct spot in the alphabetical list of projects already there. (Please note: the Table of Contents is alphabetized by title because so many essays in Victorian periodicals were unsigned that many times the authors may be unknown.) 
  4. Highlight the title only, then look to the "Insert links" box in the sidebar at right, and click on the title of the project page you just created. 
  5. Click "Save" on the bottom left of the "Gender and Sexuality" page. 
  6. Repeat this process on the "Working-Class Life" page. 


Now, you will be able to locate your page by looking in your class folder or on either of the subject-area pages on which it has been archived.  You can get to your page from any of these locations and make changes to it, and all links to your page will go to the most recent version.



If you have suggestions of other resources to add to these lists,

or any questions, or you would like your class to participate in the site,

please contact the wiki owner!

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