16 May 2014 - British Library puts literary treasures online
British Library puts 1,200 'literary treasures' on new website
Alison Flood (The Guardian)
From the earliest known writing of Charlotte Brontë, a charmingly illustrated short story the Villette author penned for her little sister Anne, to Jane Austen's wry recording of an acquaintance's dismissal of Pride and Prejudice as "downright nonsense", the British Library has put 1,200 of its "greatest literary treasures" online in what is expected to become the biggest digital English literature resource.
Highlighting a survey of more than 500 English teachers, which found that 82% believe secondary school students "find it hard to identify" with classic authors, the British Library launched the Victorian and Romantic section of its new Discovering Literature website on Thursday. With material from organisations such as the Brontë Parsonage Museum and Keats House, the site features manuscripts from authors including Blake, Wordsworth, Shelley, Keats, Austen, Dickens and Wilde, as well as diaries, letters, newspaper clippings from the time and photographs, in an attempt to bring the period to life.
More on the new website
Iona McLaren (The Telegraph)
The British Library has opened up a vast online collection of literary treasures and scholarly articles via its new website, Discovering Literature, in a bid to pique young students' interest in classic books.
The new project covers the Romantic and Victorian periods, from William Blake to the science fiction of H G Wells. However, the British Library aims to extend this online collection up to present day authors and as far back in time as the Old English epic Beowulf.
Among the artefacts digitalised for the first time are Jane Austen's notebooks, the childhood works of the Brontë sisters, manuscripts by Keats, Wordsworth and many others plus intriguing early drafts of William Blake's classic poems 'Tyger Tyger' and 'London'.
Roger Walshe (The Guardian)
Everyone has a moment when they discovered the potency of English literature for the first time. Whether you fell for Elizabeth Bennett as she trekked through the mud to Netherfield or fell out of your chair as the true identity of Pip's benefactor was revealed, there's always a scene, phrase or character that kindles our appetite for the classic authors and makes clear the vivid and living connections between their worlds and ours.
For many of us, this moment comes while studying English at secondary school or sixth form. The set texts we pore over in class are, for better or worse, never forgotten; if we're lucky, and read the right author at the right time, it sparks a lifelong relationship with the written word.
There are signs that such moments shouldn't be taken for granted. In a survey of 500 English teachers, undertaken by ComRes for the British Library, 82% said that students struggle to identify with Victorian or Romantic authors including Dickens, the Brontë sisters and Austen, along with poets such as Blake, Shelley and Wordsworth. Some 86% said that classic works of English literature are in danger of being underappreciated, while 57% said that the resources currently available to them are "uninspiring".
Staff (The British Library)
Exploring the Romantic and Victorian periods, Discovering Literature brings together, for the first time, a wealth of the British Library’s greatest literary treasures, including numerous original manuscripts, first editions and rare illustrations.
A rich variety of contextual material - newspapers, photographs, advertisements and maps - is presented alongside personal letters and diaries from iconic authors. Together they bring to life the historical, political and cultural contexts in which major works were written: works that have shaped our literary heritage.
William Blake’s notebook, childhood writings of the Brontë sisters, the manuscript of the Preface to Charles Dickens’s Oliver Twist, and an early draft of Oscar Wilde’s The Importance of Being Earnest are just some of the unique collections available on the site.
Pour citer cette ressource :
"16 May 2014 - British Library puts literary treasures online", La Clé des Langues [en ligne], Lyon, ENS de LYON/DGESCO (ISSN 2107-7029), mai 2014. Consulté le 10/12/2023. URL: https://cle.ens-lyon.fr/anglais/key-story/archives-revue-de-presse-2014/16-may-2014-british-library-puts-literary-treasures-online