The Perdita Project: Early modern women's manuscript compilations

Project start date: 1999-01 Project end date: 2003-08
The Perdita Project * is a collaborative project funded until 2005 by the AHRB in conjunction with Nottingham Trent University and Warwick University. * has produced an online guide to over 500 manuscript compilations in collections around the world. * is a research tool for historians and literary scholars. The Perdita Project, established in January 1997 by Nottingham Trent University, has purchased a microfilm collection of about 400 manuscripts compiled by women in the British Isles. These manuscripts were compiled during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, and consist of poetry, religious writing, autobiographical material, cookery and medical recipes, and accounts. We have completed a catalogue, published on the Internet, which offers bibliographical information and detailed descriptions of contents for the information of historians and literary scholars. The catalogue also includes the team's research on the manuscripts and their compilers.
Methods usedCategory
Text encoding - descriptiveData structuring and enhancement
Funding sources: 
Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC), Social Science and Research Council of Canada
Content types created: 
Software tools used: 
Digital resource created:  
The structure of our catalogue entries will be: * a biographical article on the writer or compiler of the manuscript * a bibliographical article on the manuscript * a physical description of the manuscript in categories such as binding, collation, watermarks * a manuscript 'skeleton' – an outline of the contents, including genre and subject keywords
Access to digital resource:  
Open Access
Metadata standards employed: 
Text Encoding Initiative (TEI)

Burke, Victoria E.. "Ann Bowyer's Commonplace Book (Bodleian Library MS Ashmole 51): Reading and Writing Among the 'Middling Sort'" Early Modern Literary Studies 6.3 (January 2001).

Seal, Jill. "The Perdita Project - A Winter's Report" Early Modern Literary Studies 6.3 (January 2001). A response to Elizabeth Hagglund's "Review of the Brown University Women Writers Project and the Perdita Project." Early Modern Literary Studies 6.2 (May 2000).

Burke, Victoria E., and Elizabeth Clarke. "The Perdita Project: A Database for Early Modern Women's Manuscript Compilations." Early Modern Literary Studies 3.2 (September, 1997): 3.1-5 .


Early Modern Women's Manuscript Poetry
Edited by Jill Seal Millman and Gillian Wright, with an introduction by Elizabeth Clarke and Jonathan Gibson. Other contributors: Marie-Louise Coolahan and Victoria E. Burke. Manchester University Press, 2005.

Early Modern Women's Manuscript Writing:
Selected Papers from the Trinity/Trent Colloquium
Edited by Victoria E. Burke and Jonathan Gibson. Ashgate, 2004.

The 'Centuries' of Julia Palmer
Edited with an introduction and notes by Victoria Burke and Elizabeth Clarke. Trent Editions, 2001.

This Double Voice: Gendered Writing in Early Modern England, ed. Elizabeth Clarke and Danielle Clarke (Macmillan, 2000)

Articles and Chapters

Jill Seal, Miranda Girdlestone, and Claire Warwick, 'Querying keywords: analysis of a survey to look at online research methods of the actual and potential users of the Perdita Project', Digital Evidence, Selected Papers from DRH 2000, ed. Michael Fraser, Nigel Williamson, and Marilyn Deegan (London, OHC 2001).

Gillian Wright, 'Giovanni della Casa in English Miscellanies', Translation and Literature 10, no. 2 (2001).

Victoria Burke, “Elizabeth Middleton, John Bourchier, and the Compilation of Religious Manuscripts,” with Sarah Ross, The Library (June 2001)

Elizabeth Clarke, "Diaries", in A Companion to English Renaissance Literature and Culture, ed. M. Hattaway (Ashgate, 2000)

Jonathan Gibson, 'Letters', in A Companion to English Renaissance Literature and Culture, ed. M. Hattaway (Ashgate, 2000)

Jonathan Gibson, 'French and Italian Sources for Ralegh's "Farewell false love"', Review of English Studies 50 (1999)

Institutions affiliated with this project: 

UK HE institutions involved:
Nottingham Trent University
University of Warwick
Other institutions involved:
University of Ottawa (Dr Victoria Burke)

Project staff and expertise: 

Principal staff member:Dr Elizabeth Clarke
Other staff:Postdoctoral researcher(s) / Research assistant(s)
External expertise:Our DTD is based on the MASTER DTD, which applies TEI to manuscript descriptions.Our main consultant is Richard Light, who has helped to modify our MASTER-based DTD and create the stylesheet to display our catalogue.

Metadata on this record
Author(s) of recordJill Millman
TitleThe Perdita Project: Early modern women's manuscript compilations
Record created2007-04-17
Record updated2011-01-14 16:31
URL of record
Citation of recordJill Millman: The Perdita Project: Early modern women's manuscript compilations. <> created: 2007-04-17, last updated 2011-01-14 16:31
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