Baltimore Magazine: The Womanist Reader Creates an Online Library of Black Literature. “Named after Layli Phillips’ 2006 anthology, The Womanist Reader is an Instagram account that acts as a free online library and features PDF texts from Black female writers across the African diaspora.”
Adam Matthew: Adam Matthew Digital announces publication of ‘Nineteenth Century Literary Society: The John Murray Publishing Archive’. “Drawn from the holdings of the National Library of Scotland, AM Digital’s latest collection, Nineteenth Century Literary Society: The John Murray Publishing Archive is an unparalleled resource for scholars and academics interested in the history of the book, literature and nineteenth-century history. From its inception in 1768, the John Murray publishing house worked with influential authors whose famed titles continue to shape literature to this day, including Jane Austen, Sir Walter Scott, Herman Melville and Lord Byron.” If you’re not familiar with Adam Matthew, I’ll let you know it’s not free.
The Guardian: ‘Pyke notte thy nostrellys’: 15th-century guide on children’s manners digitised for first time. “The 15th-century conduct book, The Lytille Childrenes Lytil Boke, was intended to teach table manners. It has been put online as part of a new children’s literature website bringing together original manuscripts, interviews and drafts by authors from Lewis Carroll to Jacqueline Wilson. The medieval text is part of the British Library’s own collection, and ‘by listing all the many things that medieval children should not do, it also gives us a hint of the mischief they got up to’, said the library.”
ScienceDaily: Literature online: Research into reading habits almost in real time. “Young people make intensive use of digital networks to read, write and comment on literary texts. But their reading behavior varies considerably depending on whether the title is from the world of popular or classic literature, as revealed by a new study.”
EurekAlert: Canterbury Tales is first major literary work developed as an app. “A University of Saskatchewan-led international team has produced the first web and mobile phone app of Geoffrey Chaucer’s The Canterbury Tales–the first major literary work augmented by new scholarship, in any language, presented in an app.” This app also features the work of Monty Python alum Terry Jones.
Boston University: ASC Launches Research Project on Ajamī Literature in West Africa. ASC is the African Studies Center. “The research project will identify and digitize manuscripts in four major West African languages – Hausa, Mandinka, Fula, and Wolof, transcribe the texts and translate them into English and French, prepare commentaries, and create related multimedia resources to be made widely available within and beyond the United States. The Ajamī literatures that have developed in sub-Saharan Africa and hold a wealth of knowledge on the history, politics, cosmologies, and cultures of the region, are generally unknown to scholars and the public due to lack of access.”
Science Blog: Shakespeare’s Mystery Annotator Identified As John Milton. “It is well known that Shakespeare was a huge influence on Milton. From learning how to write nature poetry to creating charismatic villains, Milton’s debt to his forebear continues to fascinate experts. The younger poet once praised the ‘wonder and astonishment’ that this ‘great heir of fame’ conjured up in his readers. But now, Jason Scott-Warren from Cambridge’s English Faculty believes he has identified even more tangible evidence of this connection.”
Korea Herald: National Museum of Korean Literature to be more than repository of books. “The museum hopes to develop into a cultural complex, allowing visitors to enjoy diverse contents related to literature. For instance, the museum’s auditorium will function as a venue for performances related to Korean literature. The institution also asserted the need to digitize data. It will make digital copies of works and preserve them for future research. It hopes to open up a digital library before the official launch of the library.”
Colubmia University Libraries: Just Launched: Literary Authors from Europe and Eurasia Web Archive. “I am pleased to announce the launch of the Literary Authors from Europe and Eurasia Web Archive, comprised of captured website content related to literary authors (of both fiction and non-fiction essays), translators, critics, and publishers from Europe and Eurasia.”
CNET: Twitter makes students dumb, study finds. “Using Twitter to teach literature is producing lower test scores, a study has found, especially for usually high-performing students. Performance on a standardized test score was reduced by between 25% and 40% of a standard deviation, the paper (PDF) published this month said.” I admit I’m pretty surprised by this.
Library of Congress: Fresh Life (Online) for the epic Shahnamah. “‘The Shahnamah,’ (translated as ‘The Persian Book of Kings’) is the majestic narrative that recounts the history of pre-Islamic Persia, a staggering work of literature first published about 1,000 years ago. Written by the poet Ferdowsi, it is composed of 62 separate stories set in 50,000 rhyming couplets and divided into 990 chapters. It was 33 years in the making. ‘Epic’ doesn’t begin to cover it…. The Library has three gorgeous manuscript copies of ‘Shahnamah’ – and, as a four-year digitization process of the Rare Persian-Language Manuscript Collection is now wrapping up, you can now see them all online.”
New-to-me, from Kaz Inform: Kitap.kz generates global interest in Kazakh literature. “Currently, the website contains 64 books in 18 foreign languages. The online library has generated increasing interest in Kazakh culture, as evidenced by the many thousands of daily visits to the website by foreign users. There is ongoing work on new content for the website.” The front page of the site is not in English but translates without issue. Looks like you need to have an account to access content.
JSTOR: Understanding Great Works: a new research tool on JSTOR. “Understanding Great Works (Beta) is a free research tool from JSTOR Labs that fosters student engagement with classic literature by connecting passages in primary texts with journal articles and book chapters on JSTOR that cite those lines. Building on the success of the Understanding Shakespeare tool, Understanding Great Works encompasses several key works of British literature such as Frankenstein and Pride and Prejudice, the King James Bible, as well as all Shakespeare sonnets and plays.”
EurekAlert: New open access database for medieval literature . “Norse World is a new database which will make it easier for researchers to study perceptions of the surrounding world in Medieval Scandinavian literature. The new tool is a digital resource aimed at researchers in fields such as language history and philology, comparative literature, manuscript studies and digital humanities. It will be freely available to both researchers and the public.”
Library of Congress: New Online: Recordings from the Archive of Hispanic Literature. “To celebrate National Hispanic Heritage Month this year, the Library released new digital material on the Archive of Hispanic Literature on Tape. For the past three years, we have provided online access to a growing number of recordings through the archive’s portal. The launch of 50 new recordings adds to the existing digital archive of prose writers and poets from all over the Americas and Spain and Portugal reading from their works.”