The Collective Biographies of Women – An Annotated Bibliography

Having been a student of Alison Booth‘s three times during my time at UVa, I thought it would only be fitting to offer a brief analysis of the database/project she has been working on.

  • What is the primary purpose of this project?

Reconstructing a Genre of Publication. Rediscovering Histories of Women. Transforming Digital Studies of Biography.”

  • What does this project hope to do that a print resource (a book/books, a journal articles reference work, etc.) couldn’t?

By digitizing biographical works already in print, this project aims to provide a comprehensive collection of women’s biographies that is well categorized into/under their respective fields (e.g. Joan of Art – Paragon; Florence Nightingale – Nursing Reform; Anne Boleyn – Queens/Rank) and the numbers of biographies published between 20-year intervals between 1850-1930. (See Pop Chart)

  • What is distinctive/notable about this project’s approach to its subject matter?

The website specifically states that it is “not a digital literary project on women writers or on fiction poetry.” In other words, it only focuses on the biographies of real-life women.

  • How would this site/project be useful to scholars doing research?

As the database is an on-going process, a lot more biographies/data will be added in the future thereby continuously improving on the numbers of biographies featured on the website. Nevertheless, it already contains a large number of biographies that would no doubt act as great references to scholars. The set up of the website however, could be more intuitive, thereby making the whole research process a lot easier.

  • ·Are there any aspects of this project’s approach that might be useful to the project groups in our class as they conceive of, design, and implement a significantly smaller-scale digital project?

I think this project does a great job with hyperlinks to existing databases, and this is something that is extremely important when it comes to blogging/making references in digital projects.



Leave a Reply