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Publication of the WWP Textbase

Date:      Fri, 26 Mar 1999 13:53:12 -0500
Subject:   Publication of the WWP Textbase

Brown University Women Writers Project Textbase Now Available Online

The Brown University Women Writers Project is happy to announce the upcoming publication of our online textbase, which is scheduled for August 1, 1999. Until that time, the textbase will be freely available online in a beta-test version, with steadily growing size and functionality. Please note that at present every aspect of the online system is under construction, and may change considerably from week to week (not always for the better!).

We welcome feedback and testing. For information on our beta-testing program, please see the posting accompanying this one, or visit our web site. Information about licensing will also be available at our web site very soon.

The textbase is a collection of pre-Victorian women's writing in English. The initial publication will include over 200 texts from the period 1450-1830, with 50-100 more being added in the first year. The texts cover a huge range of genres and topics, and represent an unparalleled resource for the study of women's writing and history, and of English literature generally.

Important features of the system include the following:

  • The texts are richly encoded in SGML, using the full TEI Guidelines. The transcription preserves the text of the original document in full, including all front and back matter, with original pagination, typography, spelling, and rendition. Title pages, signatures, catchwords, and other bibliographic details are transcribed in full.

  • The textbase will be published over the web using INSO's DynaWeb software, giving the user full access to the SGML tagging for searching and navigation.

  • Varied style sheets will allow the user to view the text with its original typography and errors intact, or in a corrected and regularized form.

  • Users may search the entire textbase or individual texts for words and phrases, either on their own or within specified contexts, using the SGML markup. Users may also search for sets of texts which meet certain criteria such as date, genre, place of publication, and so forth.

  • The primary source material will be accompanied by topic essays and biographical information for each author.

For further information about the Women Writers Project and our plans for publication, please visit our new web site at:

Date:     Fri, 26 Mar 1999 13:53:26 -0500
Subject:  beta-testing the WWP textbase

Brown University Women Writers Project

In preparation for publication of our textbase in August, 1999, the Women Writers Project seeks users to help us test the system on real-world research and teaching. During the beta-test period (from now until August) anyone is free to use the WWP's online materials and send us comments and suggestions. However, we would also like to create a more official beta-testing group consisting of people who are interested in using the WWP online texts more intensively and giving us regular feedback on how they work. We are interested in evaluating the functionality of the various features we are providing, and also in getting a more detailed look at how people use the textbase in their teaching and research.

Beta-testers will be subscribed to a discussion list where they can report problems, compare results, and exchange ideas for how to use this and other electronic resources. We realize it may be a little late to incorporate use of the textbase into a class this semester, but if there's anyone who'd be interested in doing this, that would be especially helpful.

To participate as a formal beta-tester, please send email to, with the following information:

  • Name
  • Institution
  • Email address
  • A very brief description of the nature of your research, and/or the kinds of teaching activities for which you might use the textbase.

Julia Flanders
Textbase Editor and Project Manager
Brown University Women Writers Project
Tel: +1 (401) 863-2135

Prepared by Robin Cover for the The SGML/XML Web Page archive.

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