Sarah Connell, Project Manager on the Women Writers Project, passed along this exciting announcement. Since 1986, The Women Writers Project has been committed to ensuring that texts written by women in the early modern period are digitized and accessible to contemporary audiences. Northeastern is privileged to host one of the oldest projects in the field of digital humanities and aid its ongoing work. Visit our Projects page to learn more about the WWP and other initiatives supported by the Digital Scholarship Group.   

The WWP is pleased to announce the publication of seventeen new texts to Women Writers Online. The spring publication contains texts that explore the topics of education and instruction from a variety of angles, including advice to parents, fables and histories for children, and instructional poetry. We are experimenting with this thematic approach to publication as a way to make the texts in WWO more accessible to students, teachers, and researchers while highlighting the range of ways that women engaged with contemporary issues. Highlights include Melesina Trench’s Thoughts of a Parent on Education (1837), Priscilla Wakefield’s Mental Improvement (1794), Sarah Trimmer’s Fabulous Histories (1786), and Maria Edgeworth’s The Little Dog Trusty; the Orange Man; and the Cherry Orchard (1801). Our spring publication also includes a group of brief texts by the seventeenth-century prophet Eleanor Davies, several of which intersect with the topic of education by offering religious instruction.

We are also very excited to be publishing four new folders from the Almanacks of Mary Moody Emerson, created in partnership with the editors of The Almanacks of Mary Moody Emerson: A Scholarly Digital Edition. This collaboration provides an opportunity for the WWP to pilot the publication of manuscript texts and to think through questions of document materiality and digital scholarly editing. The Almanack folders newly added to WWO are dated 1811, 1813, and 1814. They explore such topics as conditions in Boston during the War of 1812; comparative religions and monuments dedicated to science, the arts, and religion; and Emerson’s fervent belief that “every christian pen,” regardless of one’s position in the church hierarchy or in the congregation, should leave behind a valuable record. These Almanacks document Emerson’s reading of such figures as Dugald Stewart, William Wollaston, Edward Gibbon, Isaac Newton, John Locke, and Felicia Hemans, and, as is typical for her, Emerson derives tremendous pleasure from these intellectual pursuits, finding “every day . . . somet[hing] new in books” and describing “reading with a delight which nothin[g it] seems could inspire but novelty in knowledge.”

To see a list of the texts recently added to Women Writers Online, visit our new titles page. Or visit our full title list for a complete list of all the titles currently included in WWO.

This content was first posted on the WWP’s Announcements page; learn more about recent developments in the project there!

Image: Melesina Trench, author of 1837’s Thoughts of a Parent on Education (William Holl; Public Domain image)