CIRCA:Victorian Web

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Contents

Overview

The Victorian Web

The Victorian Web concentrates on British Literature, history and culture during the age of Victoria (1837-1901). In addition, relevant material both prior to and after this period which are related to this age is also included. The Victorian Web also includes comparative material from outside of the United Kingdom such as iron in Agriculture and technological advances in other parts of the world.

Audience and Purpose

This site was initially created as a resource for students in Victorian Literature classes at Brown University. As the site expanded, a wider range of people could find this site helpful such as students, teachers and researchers. The Victorian Web also includes a French and Spanish version, although all the documents are still written in English.

History

The Victorian Web was created as an internet resource for students studying Victorian Literature at Brown University. George P. Landow, a Professor of English at Brown University designed and edited the initial site using Intermedia. Under Landow, David Cody wrote many general materials and chose many of the original digitized images. Glenn Everett, also under Landow, wrote basic documents on Romantic and Victorian poets and timelines. Kathryn Stockton helped out the project by creating documents on feminism and literary theory. The first contributor to the Victorian Web outside Brown University was Anthony S. Wohl, a professor at Vassar College. He contributed many documents on Victorian public health, race and class issues, and anti-Catholic prejudice in the Victorian period.

In 1992 the Victorian Web underwent a change as all the documents were transferred into storyspace since Intermedia ceased operation. The next year in 1993 David Stevenson rearranged all the documents approximately into their current forms. He built and linked all works’ overviews and created a sitemap. Stevenson made a large contribution to this project as he imported a significant amount of the web’s materials. In 1994 students in Landow’s Victorian literature class were able to create many new documents for the web which were later added to the storyspace.

1995 saw another major change to the project as Marc Zbyszynski began manually recreating in html all link menus that storyspace generates automatically. In the same year, Landow created the icons and designed the layout of the html version of the site.

It was not until the turn of the century that the Victorian Web saw major funding. In 2001 the University Scholars Programme and the National University of Singapore sponsored the Victorian Web’s two servers, one in the United States and the other in Singapore until 2008. The University Scholars Programme also funded many scholars in 2001 who worked on the books section and the documents on science, technology, and political and social history.

Technologies

Intermedia's Web View

The Victorian Web was first created using Intermedia, an advanced hypertext system, created by the Institute for Research in Information and Scholarship (IRIS). The IRIS was established to explore new uses of computing technology in research, teaching, and learning. The IRIS wanted to create new ways for people to create, retrieve and organize information. However, the IRIS only lasted from 1983 to 1994 when it ceased operation. Intermedia is an object-orientated programming that uses a unix based system. Multiple users can access the same document while someone is editing it. One of Intermedias important features is the Web View, an advanced navigation tool which reduces the chance of getting lost.

The Victorian Web then got transferred to Storyspace when Intermedia stopped operations. Storyspace is a hypertext writing environment used for creating large, complex, and challenging hypertexts. While other hypertexts emphasize visual presentation, Storyspace emphasizes writing, linking and organization.

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