The Victorian Web and Context32
he Victorian Web is the WWW translation of Brown University's Context 61, which served as a resource for courses in Victorian literature [follow for syllabus of one such course.] These materials ultimately derive from Context 32, the Intermedia web that provided contextual information for English 32, "Survey of English literature from 1700 to the Present." Context 32 was begun in Spring 1987 as part of Brown University's Institute for Research in Information and Scholarship (IRIS) Intermedia project, which IBM, Apple Computers, the Annenberg/CPB Project, and other sources funded.
For this predecessor of the current site, George P. Landow designed and edited the entire web, made many of the links, and was responsible for most of the materials on the individual authors and works as well as those on Biblical typology. He authored multiple lexias throughout the web and selected both the external criticism cited and most of the visual images. All captions for images are his. Under his direction David Cody wrote many of the general materials and chose many of the original digitized images, and Glenn Everett wrote some of the basic materials on Romantic and Victorian poets including timelines. The following year Kathryn Stockton created some documents on feminism and literary theory.
Anthony S. Wohl, then-Professor of History at Vassar College, generously contributed much of the material on Victorian public health, race and class issues, and anti-Catholic prejudice in Victorian England. He was pioneering first non-Brown contributor; there have since been hundreds. His work draws upon both his published and unpublished writings.
Transferring the Intermedia Materials to Eastgate Systems Storyspace
In 1992 Robert Arellano '90 transferred most of the documents from the Intermedia system (which ceased operating in 1992) into Storyspace and relinked them.
The Victorian Web also draws upon several other hypertext webs developed under Landow's direction. In particular, most of the Dickens materials come originally from the Intermedia Dickens Web, which Julie Launhardt, Paul Kahn, and he assembled. (It won the 1990 EDUCOM/NCRIPTAL award for best software in the humanities and has been published in Storyspace by Eastgate Systems); similarly, most of the Tennyson materials are taken from the In Memoriam Web, developed by him and Jon Lanestedt, University of Oslo, Norway (also published by Eastgate Systems).
In 1993 David Stevenson '96 rearranged this wealth of materials approximately into the form in which you now encounter them. He reorganized many of the materials on authors, imported and wrote some biographical materials, built and linked all works' overviews (sitemaps), and developed several of the contextual overviews. He was responsible for importing a significant amount of the web's materials. In one month's work over the summer of 1993 at IRIS, the web grew from one to three megabytes, gained over a thousand links, and acquired the structure and form that you see it in now.
Transferring the Storyspace Web into HTML
In 1994 students in Landow's Victorian literature course (formerly English 61, now 73) created more than a hundred new lexias (or documents) for the web. After Landow edited them, they were added to the Storyspace version of the web by Mary-Kim Arnold '95 and Marc Zbyszynski'95, creator of the now-defunct Storyspace Cluster. Zbyszynski began the laborious process of manually recreating in HTML all the link menus that Storyspace automatically generates on the fly. In May and June 1995 Landow then created the icons, designed the layout, and using Storyspace 1.3w8 and Robert C. Best's HTML Web Weaver 2.5. created the HTML version of the Web. Since then Landow has chiefly used BBedit when working on Macs and Allaire's Homesite when working in a Windows environment between 2000 and 2002.
List of Contributors
The University Scholars Programme, National University of Singapore, and the Victorian Web
The University Scholars Programme (USP) at the National University of Singapore, of which GPL was the founding dean, sponsored the Victorian Web's two servers (one in the USA and the other in Singapore) 2001-2008. Between January 2001 and December 2001 the USP also funded two senior research fellows, Dr. Marjorie Bloy and Dr. John van Whye, and a half dozen student assistants, who worked on The Victorian Web Books section and other major projects, including the site's materials on science, technology, and political and social history. In addition Dr. Tamara Silvia Wagner, a NUS-funded research fellow who worked primarily on the sister Postcolonial Literature and Culture Web, provided many valuable contributions.
The Victorian Web's Contributing Editors for Canada and the U. K.
Philip V. Allingham, now-Associate Professor at Lakehead University, Thunder Bay, Ontario, who spent December 2001 at NUS as Senior Fellow, has served as Contributing Editor to the Victorian Web since 2000. Since 1999, Allingham has contributed approximately 1000 documents on Ainsworth, Boucicault, Bulwer-Lytton, Collins, Dickens, Du Maurier, Hardy, Reade, Scott, Stevenson, and more than a dozen British book illustrators. Dr. Jacqueline Banerjee, who became our UK contributing editor in 2005 and Associate Editor in 2009, has contributed an equal number of documents and images, many of which concern sculpture and architecture. She has also written numerous literary essays and book reviews of recent scholarship. Andrzej Diniejko, our Contributing Editor for Poland, is Senior Lecturer in English Literature and Culture at Warsaw University, joined the project in January 2010. He has written essays the Condition-of-England novel and contributed books reviews.
How Can You Add to the Victorian Web?
Readers from around the world continually contribute materials. If you have something you would like included in the Victorian Web, please contact me at the following e-mail address after looking at the instructions for contributors:
A detailed list of recent contributions appears on the frequently updated What's New page.
Last modified 10 November 2011