Victorian Studies – Resources
No matter how you choose to look at it the Victorian period was and remains one of the most fascinating eras in history. From the very fast paced industrialization that took place during that time to the fascinating Bronte sisters, there is such a rich cultural, artistic and historical value to be accrued for studying the various elements that mark this period. Art, literature social and political history, science and industrialization are at the epicenter of this era.
Aptly named so because it is the time during which Queen Victoria reigned (1837-1901), the Victorian period has a lot to offer any and every enthusiast and/scholar. Victorian studies may, therefore, be defined as the study of British culture, art, language, and life during the Victorian age.
By undertaking Victorian studies one can, after a fashion, relive those days gone by and get to understand albeit through the sometimes inadequate lens of modern theories, what exactly art, literature, and life, in general, had to offer.
The Significance of the Victorian Period
There is a very good reason why experts of Victorian and neo-Victorian studies refer to this era as the Golden Period. During Queen Victoria’s reign, Britain truly prospered and became powerful. England literally ruled a quarter of the entire world population and with an ever-increasing demand for goods and services, no epidemic and great healthcare facilities, the population increased markedly.
Factories doing all kinds of work mushroomed during this period improving the living standards of people and providing employment. Horse-drawn carriages gave way to the railways and science took center stage with the advent of telephones, radios, and many more inventions, The nineteenth century was a great time for Britain not just because of the industrial revolution but also because architecture, culture, and art blossomed greatly. Queen Victoria, for instance, was the first monarch ever to be photographed. Monumental strides were made during her rule.
Why study the Victorian Era
Given all there is to know about the Golden period including its history and the histories of the inventors and inventions of the time, institutions have been established with departments and courses dedicated solely to this era. In these institutions students sign up to learn about the history of art, the history of science, great personalities of this era and so much more.
English departments in many universities across the world offer research and training to help students better understand not just language and its evolution during the Victorian period but also Victorian writing and how it was nurtured by poets and novelists of that time. As an arts and humanities student, for example, undertaking Victorian studies allows you to get a better grasp of what truly transpired during the era, how it happened, what influenced the changes that occurred at the time and why.
Supporting bodies and resources
There are several Victorian studies related associations the world over. Worth mentioning perhaps is the North American Victorian Studies Association which was formed in 2002. The main goal of this association is to act as a continental forum that can keep the Victorian period discussion alive through a variety of disciplinary and theoretical approaches. A resource worth taking note of is Project Muse. This is basically an online database consisting of journals and books reviewed by peers. If you are an enthusiast of the Victorian period then Victorian studies are definitely an option for you.
Check our useful sources for Victorian Studies subject:
Academic Info Humanities GatewayBackstagea performing arts gateway for the UK – funded as part of the Research Support Libraries ProgrammeIntute: HumanitiesVictoria Research WebScholarly Resources for Victorian Research from the History Department, Indiana UniversityThe Victorian Webthe WWW translation of Brown University’s Context 61, which serves as a resource for courses in Victorian literatureVictorian Web SitesMany links from a site maintained by Mitsuharu Matsuoka, an Associate Professor at Nagoya University, JapanVoice of the Shuttle: Literature in English
- Discussion groups
JISCmailnational academic mailing list service facilitating discussion, collaboration and communication within the UK academic community and beyondVictoria: 19th century British culture and societyYahoo! GroupsSign up to join discussion groups. Search on Victorian
- Discussion groups
Alliance of Literary Societiesumbrella organisation for literary societies in the UK, formed in 1973 with c125 membersArts and Humanities Research Councilsupporting research into the arts and humanitiesBritish Academythe national academy for the humanities and the social sciencesBritish Association for Victorian StudiesCharlotte Mary Yonge FellowshipEnglish Subject Centrepart of the Higher Education Academy – supports the teaching of English literature, language and creative writing in UK Higher EducationThe Gaskell SocietyTo promote and encourage the study and appreciation of the work and life of Elizabeth Gaskell (1810-1865).Interdisciplinary Nineteenth-Century Studiesan international group of scholars dedicated to interdisciplinary discussion and researchThe Tennyson Societyto promote the study and understanding of the life and work of Alfred, Lord TennysonThe Victorian Societythe national society responsible for the study and protection of Victorian and Edwardian architecture and other arts.The William Morris Societyaims to make the life and work of Morris and his associates better known
- Other sites of interest
19: Interdisciplinary Studies in the Long Nineteenth Centuryfrom Birkbeck’s Centre for Nineteenth-Century Studies1901 Census for England and WalesA2AAccess to archives contains catalogues describing archives held throughout England and dating from the 900s to the present day.Aspects of the Victorian Bookfrom the British LibraryBolles Collection on the history of London: London atlasa digital archive on the topography of London.BOPCRIS(British Official Publications Collaborative Reader Information Service) Unlocking government publications: a web-based finding tool for over 23,000 British Official Publications from 1688 to 1995British History Onlinefrom the Institute of Historical Research and the History of Parliament TrustCharles Booth Online Archivea searchable resource giving access to archive material from the Booth collections of the British Library of Political and Economic Science [BLPES] (the Library of the London School of Economics) and the University of London Library. The archives of the BLPES contain the original records from Booth’s survey into life and labour in London, dating from 1886-1903.Charles Darwinthe complete works onlineCharles Dickens Pagefrom David Purdue, links to online texts of many of Charles Dickens’s works, together with biographical information and information about the context of his worksCorvey Women Writerson the Web CW3 An electronic guide to literature 1796–1834 from Sheffield Hallam University – a database containing material on 417 women writers of the 18th and 19th centuries and literary works published by them, based on the holdings of the Corvey LibraryCrace Collection of maps of Londonfrom the British LibraryDarwin Correspondence Projectwith the complete, searchable, texts of around 5,000 letters written by and to Charles Darwin up to the year 1865.Evanion Collectionof Victorian printed ephemera at the British LibraryExhibitions of the Royal Photographic Society 1870-1915catalogue records from the annual exhibitionsGaslightdiscussion list which reviews one story a week from the genres of mystery, adventure and The Weird, written between 1800 and 1919The Gissing Newsletterthe full text from 1965-2000Historical directoriesdigital library of local and trade directories for England and Wales, from 1750 to 1919Internet Library of Early Journalsa digital library of 18C and 19C journalsLiterary Resources – Victorian Britishpart of the Literary Resources collection maintained by Jack Lynch, English Department, Rutgers University, Newark.The Mark Rutherford ResourceThe aim of this site is to make Mark Rutherford (pseudonym of William Hale White)‘s work more widely known (particularly his journalism), and to act as a forum for discussions about him.Monuments and dust: the culture of Victorian Londonthe work of an international group of scholars now assembling a complex visual, textual, and statistical representation of Victorian London. Based at UCL and the University of Virginia.Nineteenth century serials edition (NSCE)free, online edition of six nineteenth-century periodicals and newspapers.Online Literary Criticism CollectionFrom the Internet Public Library (IPL), can be browsed by author, by title, or by nationality and literary period.Proceedings of the Old BaileyLondon’s Central Criminal Court 1674-1913Rossetti Archivethe complete writings of Dante Gabriel Rossetti – a hypermedia archiveScience in the nineteenth century periodicalsearchable electronic index to the science content of sixteen nineteenth-century general periodicalsStanford’s library map of London 1862-1871Victorian illustrated newspapers and journalsselect list from the British LibraryVictorian Sensationalism Onlinefocuses on several aspects of Victorian sensationalism, especially the sensation novel — its authors, texts, and sensational popularityVictorian Women Writers Projectfrom the University of IndianaWho’s Who in Victorian Cinemaa biographical guide to the world of Victorian film.William Hone: the Bio-texta web project by Kyle Grimes at the University of Alabama, BirminghamWilliam Morris Galleryhoused in the 18th Century Water House, Morris’ family home, 1848 to 1856, and set in Lloyd Park in Walthamstow
- Other sites of interest