Victorian Bibliography
The purpose of this website is to promote and facilitate the compilation of comprehensive descriptive bibliographies of minor creative writers of the late-Victorian period, especially the Aesthetes and Decadents of the 1890s and the Feminist writers of the period.
This site seeks to harness the capacity of the Internet to enable collectors, scholars, booksellers, author descendants, special collections librarians, and other interested people to develop bibliographies cooperatively. Such bibliographies are foundational resources for effective biography, critical studies, and collecting.
Working independently over a period of years, individual researchers have published important and useful descriptive bibliographies. However, it often happens that, almost immediately following publication, others identify items that were missed. The published bibliography is immediately outdated, and is seldom reprinted in augmented form. The Internet provides a means to both significantly accelerate the research process, and to produce bibliographies cooperatively that are as “complete” as humanly possible before they are published, and that will better stand the test of time. Scholars compiling descriptive bibliographies as a prelude to critical biographies, collectors, booksellers, librarians and archivists approach an author’s works from slightly different perspectives and rely on different research methods and information sources. No individual working within one of these disciplines, and no single discipline, can hope for a result to equal what individuals and disciplines can achieve cooperatively, via the Internet. Victorian Bibliography serves as the medium through which such collaboration can most efficiently occur.
Collaboration vs. individual initiative–who gets credit and how? Whereas structured collaboration produces the best results, it does not necessarily maximize motivation for individual participation. While we may appreciate the goal and spirit of this collaboration, we also tend to want recognition and credit for our individual contributions. Victorian Bibliography ensures individual credit without impeding the cooperative effort through the following methodology: A named collector of scholar provides to the site a descriptive bibliography that is complete within the scope of his or her knowledge. Others are then invited to correct or augment this initial effort, and each individual contribution is credited during the entire process, from posting on the site through possible publication.
Basic formats are provided. Each author receives, first, a biographical sketch not to exceed 500 words, including birth and death dates; education; places he or she lived for extended periods of time; most important friends and acquaintances; a characterization of their writings, including any important influences or allegiances; and any particularly interesting biographical facts or anecdotes. A portrait, preferably photographic, should complete the introduction. The comes the bibliography. A structured but user-friendly format is provided to facilitate consistency. Rather than describe the format and how it works, we confidently invite the reader to experiment with it.