Folger Launches Interactive Manuscript Poetry Index

by Jessica C. Murphy

The purpose of the Union First Line Index, hosted by the Folger Shakespeare Library Washington, D.C., is to enable cross-institutional literary research by providing a database of the first lines of manuscript verse held by the contributing institutions. Researchers can enter keywords as search terms; search by First Line, Last Line, Author, Title, Shelfmark, Women only; limit searches to specific institutions; and sort search results in various ways.

Originally compiled by Carolyn W. Nelson as a series of Excel spreadsheets, the Union First Line Index is based on freely-available first line indexes from various institutions and individuals including, as of December 2009: Bodleian, Beinecke Osborn Collection, British Library, Folger Shakespeare Library, Harvard, Huntington, Leeds Brotherton Collection — 17th and 18th century only, Harold Love and Meredith Sherlock Clandestine Satire, and Steve May’s Elizabethan Poetry. First lines from Hilton Kelliher’s British Library index of post-1895 acquisitions will be incorporated in the near future. Additional contributing institutions or individual participants may be added at a future date. The Excel spreadsheets were turned into a web-enabled database by the Folger.The online availability of the Index through the Folger does not imply the transfer of intellectual property rights.

via First Line Index.

Please check this out! I have been working in it since I received word of its launch this morning. What a great resource for people working on early modern women poets.