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News & Updates

The Dickens Search blog is for release notes about the development of specific collections that provide detail about collection principles, which texts are included/excluded, sources used etc., as well as more technical information about the construction and shape of the database.

Poetry Dickens Didn't Write

When we were beginning to add verse by Dickens to the Verse collection, we decided, after careful research and thoughtful discussion, to omit five poems occasionally attributed to Dickens. Though these poems, in different ways, have appeared to offer valuable insights into Dickens’s poetic themes and language, we remain unconvinced that he wrote the rhyming verse of a particular piece, composed a poetic structure, or was the author at all. Because Dickens Search prioritises the examination of … Read More

Playing with Plugins

Once Omeka has been installed, it is easy and intuitive to use (for more on Omeka and why we chose it, see my last blog post). However, there are some annoying limitations to the platform, many of which can be overcome with the right plugin or a bit of creative editing; its customisability is part of the draw of this CMS. For example, you can’t upload images that aren’t connected to a database item without the Admin Images plugin. URLs generate as a frustrating numeric sequence only (and if you … Read More

Developing the Database

As noted in my last blog post, a fundamental part of developing Dickens Search is our commitment to open research methods and making as much of the work we do as possible transparent. This blog post will provide a summary of how I created the database, and some of the rationale behind our choice of platform and our approach to metadata. In my next blog post, I provide a list of the plugins we’re using. The website has been built using Omeka Classic, a free-to-use content management system … Read More

Forming a Dickens Corpus

A key inspiration for creating Dickens Search was pure scholarly frustration with the scattered nature of online, printed, and even archival texts and materials authored by Charles Dickens. In the course of my research, I’ve often had to hunt for short stories and poems in a variety of places, such as Google Books, HathiTrust, Internet Archive, Gutenberg.org, or consult secondary criticism to see if a bibliography might possibly list the physical location of a source. Sometimes I try new … Read More

Creating Dickens Search

What is Dickens Search? Dickens Search is an open access resource that aims to combine book history, and a commitment to bibliographic transparency, with digital tools. What this means in practice is that Dickens scholars are involved in locating, authenticating and transcribing first printings, first editions and (eventually) lifetime editions of Dickens’s works (including serials, novels, short stories, prefaces, journalism, speeches and poetry), making them freely available on our website. … Read More