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Research Guides


There are also many excellent websites that provide access to primary and secondary resources pertaining to England in the 19th Century. Some are listed below. If searching for additional sites on Google, be sure to note the author/sponsor of the site and see if it is a credible source. For more tips on evaluating websites, see the following guide

  • At the Circulating Library
  • Begun in 2007, At the Circulating Library: A Database of Victorian Fiction, 1837-1901 offers a biographical and bibliography database of nineteenth-century British fiction. The database is hosted by the Victorian Research Web, a major and free research resource for Victorian scholars.
  • British History Online
  • "British History Online is the digital library containing some of the core printed primary and secondary sources for the medieval and modern history of the British Isles." Created by the Institute of Historical Research and the History of Parliament Trust. For 18th Century, collections includes records of proceedings in Parliament, higher clergy, office holders in central government and the Survey of London.
  • British Library Images Online
    "Instant access to thousands of the greatest images from the British Library's collections which include manuscripts, rare books, musical texts and maps spanning almost 3000 years. The range of images available include illustrations, drawings, paintings and photographs of topics pertaining to all areas of British history and culture.
  • Carlyle Letters Online
  • Over 10,000 collected letters of Thomas and Jane Welsh Carlyle. Organized by date, by recipient, by subject, and by volume. "A correspondence that features some of the most influential artistic, philosophic, and literary personalities of the 19th century."
  • Dying Speeches & Bloody Murders: Crime Broadsides
    Collected by the Harvard Law School Library, digitized images of 500 broadsides spanning the years 1707 to 1891 "include accounts of executions for such crimes as arson, assault, counterfeiting, horse stealing, murder, rape, robbery, and treason. Many of the broadsides vividly describe the results of sentences handed down at London's central criminal court, the Old Bailey."
  • Proceedings of the Old Bailey Online (1674-1913)
    "A fully searchable edition of the largest body of texts detailing the lives of non-elite people ever published, containing 197,745 criminal trials held at London's central criminal court."
  • Victoria Research Web
  • "VRW is dedicated to the scholarly study of nineteenth-century Britain, and to aiding researchers, teachers, and students in their investigations of any and all aspects of this fascinating period."
  • The National Archives
  • Is the government's national archive for England, Wales and the United Kingdom, the archives holds over a 1,000 years of the nation's records.
  • Rossetti Archive
  • "The Rossetti Archive facilitates the scholarly study of Dante Gabriel Rossetti, the painter, designer, writer, and translator who was, according to both John Ruskin and Walter Pater, the most important and original artistic force in the second half of the nineteenth century in Great Britain. In Whistler's famous comment, 'He was a king'."
  • Literary History
  • " catalogs credible literary criticism on nineteenth and twentieth century English and American literature that is available on the free internet. The books and articles we link to are selected by the editor, based on our selection policy. This site is intended to be a demonstration project, showing what would be possible if there were many good, open access articles on the internet, and if they were analyzed and screened by an advisory committee of scholars."
  • Nines
  • "NINES is a scholarly organization devoted to forging links between the material archive of the nineteenth century and the digital research environment of the twenty-first."
  • English Literature on the Web
  • A great resource if looking for an online concordance. This allows the searching of words and phrases in full-text materials, such as poems, novels and short stories.
  • Victorian Women Writers Project
  • "The Victorian Women Writers Project (VWWP) began in 1995 at Indiana University and is primarily concerned with the exposure of lesser-known British women writers of the 19th century. The collection represents an array of genres - poetry, novels, children's books, political pamphlets, religious tracts, histories, and more. VWWP contains scores of authors, both prolific and rare."


George Elliot