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Orlando: Women’s Writing in the British Isles

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Advancing our understanding of the history and present of women’s contributions to the literary, cultural and political life of Great Britain, VCU Libraries provides access to the landmark database, Orlando:  Women’s Writing in the British Isles from the Beginnings to the Present. Orlando exemplifies digital humanities’ efforts to broaden access to little known or studied texts, provide historical and cultural context for authors and their works and inspire transformative ways of reading and understanding women’s literary engagement with their readers and the world through writing. Created at Cambridge University, Orlando is designed with a “unique structure and searchability,” encouraging researchers “to examine its information and critical comment in a wide range of configurations and to re-form this in new and creative ways. Orlando is open to the serendipities of productive browsing,” and fosters in-depth research through cultural, biographical, and textual discovery. More than 1,300 writers are included, and approximately 30,000 items are available for discovery–a growing list of authors and texts. Orlando will greatly enhance teaching and research at VCU, and foster a dynamic and innovative reading experience.

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By Kevin Farley, humanities collections librarian

Image:  “A Woman Seated at an Organ (or Writing Desk),” Yale University Art Gallery, public domain.

Index of Christian Art: Catalogs of Christian art

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The Index of Christian Art catalogs art found within a broadly-defined Christian context. In its digital form, the index contains some 80,000 full-text records and more than 100,000 images dating from 30 C.E. to 1550 C.E.

Founded in 1917 and continuously updated, this resource is maintained by Princeton University. Much of the art in the index comes from the western world, but recent efforts have been made to include art from a broader range of countries, including Egypt, Lebanon, Syria and Ethiopia.

Art is categorized based on subject–figures, scenes, nature, objects and miscellany. The Index of Christian Art has an especially large collection of crucifixion scenes, saints and personifications.

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Image: The Index of Christian Art