Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley’s Frankenstein, also titled The Modern Prometheus, stands as one of the most widely read novels of the Romantic era since its publication in 1818. No more so than now may Frankenstein be called the modern Prometheus, or rather, the digital Prometheus (bringing intellectual fire without the unpleasant ending).
Maryland Institute for Technology in the Humanities (MITH) is excited to announce that, due to a generous grant of $300,000 from the National Endowment for the Humanities, Frankenstein, along with other works of Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley, William Godwin, Percy Bysshe Shelley and Mary Wollstonecraft, will be digitized as part of the Shelley-Godwin Archive. Humanities scholars, curators, and information scientists are partnering from MITH, the New York Public Library (NYPL), the Bodleian Libraries of the University of Oxford, the Houghton Library of Harvard University, the Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens, and the British Library, to put manuscripts and early editions of these Romantic writers online and freely accessible to the public. MITH Director Neil Fraistat, renowned scholar in both the digital humanities and Shelley studies, will serve as co-Principal Investigator along with Elizabeth C. Denlinger, Curator of the Pforzheimer Collection of the New York Public Library.
MITH will create the project’s infrastructure with the assistance of the New York Public Library’s digital humanities group, NYPL Labs. MITH and the Bodleian will further develop the tools and interface used for the Shakespeare Quartos Archive. Tools and functions will include the ability to collate texts, overlay images of the original manuscripts and view them side by side, search the complete text, and tag content with user annotations. The prototype will be tested by undergraduates and graduates, and established specialists drawn largely from the project’s Advisory Board.
MITH, in addition to its partners, seeks to cultivate and further the Shelley-Godwin Archive as a comprehensive, accurate and accessible digital resource for British Romanticism scholars, in order to provide the platform for an intellectual journey into nineteenth-century verse, history, and letters.