Orlando Project

The Orlando Project is an ongoing collaborative experiment in the use of computers to engage in literary history.

The project has produced the first full scholarly history of women’s writing in the British Isles – but this is history with a difference. Orlando: Women’s Writing in the British Isles from the Beginnings to the Present is a highly dynamic textbase collaboratively produced by more than 100 scholars and co-edited by Susan Brown, Patricia Clements, and Isobel Grundy.

It is a rich resource for researchers, for students, and for readers with an interest in literature, women’s writing, or cultural history more generally.

With 8 million words of text, Orlando is full of interpretive information on women, writing, and culture. It includes entries on the lives and writing careers of over 1200 writers, together with a great deal of contextual historical material on relevant subjects, such as the law, economics, science, writing by men, education, medicine, politics.

Orlando‘s content and the means of its delivery are inseparable and essential elements of the one thing. They were built together, with the result that Orlando is highly responsive to questions its readers ask. The unique structure and searchability of Orlando allows readers to examine the information in a wide range of configurations. The textbase is open to the serendipities of productive browsing, but is also designed for searchers with a specific agenda —that is, for answering precise, complex questions.

CWRC is inspired by the Orlando Project’s collaborative production of digital scholarship, and will build on and extend many of its systems.

Project Director: Susan Brown, University of Alberta and University of Guelph

Founding Project Director: Patricia Clements, University of Alberta

Textbase Research Director: Isobel Grundy, University of Alberta


Textbase at Cambridge University Press

Project website