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Project REVEAL: The Harry Ransom Center takes a huge digital step forward

Project REVEAL Hardy

One of the kinks in the harried digital evolution for university special collections and archives has been the focus on getting their best stuff processed first. This selective approach to digitization, which of course has its roots in the pervasive financial and human resource constraints faced by most repositories, can have a profound long-term effect on what information finds the public realm.

Project REVEAL, which stands for Read and View English & American Literature, by The Harry Ransom Center hopes to change that. For Project REVEAL the entire manuscript collections of 25 of some of the best-known writers from nineteenth and early twentieth century American and English literature have been digitized. No cherry-picking here, every item in every author collection digitized with over 22,000 high-resolution images now available.

Why is this big? First, The Harry Ransom Center at the University Texas has perhaps the greatest collection of modern English and American literature in the world and second, they are removing the requirement for permission and use fees for a significant portion of its online collections.

A comprehensive approach to digitization coupled with open access = pure happiness for us here at Book Patrol.

Here is  a selection of portraits of the writers included in this seminal project:

Project REVEAL ThackerayWilliam Makepeace Thackeray

Project REVEAL ThoreauHenry David Thoreau

Project REVEAL RosettiChristina Rosetti

Project REVEAL WildeOscar Wilde

Project REVEAL MansfieldKatherine Mansfield

Project REVEAL ConradJoseph Conrad

Project REVEAL CraneHart Crane

The full list of the REVEAL 25:

Charlotte Perkins GilmanChristina Georgina RossettiDante Gabriel RossettiEdward LearGerard Manley HopkinsHart CraneHenry JamesHenry David ThoreauJack LondonJoel Chandler HarrisJoseph ConradJulia Ward HoweKatherine Mansfield, L. Frank BaumMary Elizabeth BraddonO. HenryOscar WildeRobert Louis StevensonSara TeasdaleThomas HardyVachel LindsayViolet HuntWashington IrvingWilliam Makepeace ThackerayZane Grey

Read the full press release

Top image: Thomas Hardy

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