Abstract

This article describes the latest iteration of the Periodical Poetry Index, an open-access database that reveals the variety and complexity of nineteenth-century periodical poetry and its material presentation on the printed page. The project design, data ontology, and indexing methodology follow a sociohistorical model of the literary text and represent the distinctive features of each periodical printing of a given poem. The database foregrounds this publication context by indexing information about the arrangement of poems within and across periodical issues, variations in contributor signature, and the appearance of different languages, paratextual elements, typography, and page design. This article situates the project in the heritage of periodical studies and demonstrates the importance of new digital tools for research.

The Periodical Poetry Index reveals the variety and complexity of nineteenth-century periodical poetry and its material presentation on the printed page. To create this open-access database, we have selected nearly one hundred data features to index for each poem in its periodical publication. In addition to bibliographic citations, our ongoing research presents information about the periodical context, including textual and paratextual features of the poems, variations in signature for the contributors, and visual elements of page design. We released the first version in 2011; this essay describes the latest iteration of our project, which revises our data structures and enhances our user interface.1 In the sections that follow, we use an example of two periodical poems to situate our project in the heritage of periodical studies and to demonstrate the importance of new digital tools.

As an index, our project centers bibliographic and paratextual information as a way of understanding the sociohistorical context of nineteenth-century periodical poetry.2 Large-scale digitization of nineteenth-century printed materials has transformed Victorian studies, providing both access to resources outside of physical libraries and new affordances like keyword searching.3 Although the contents of many Victorian periodicals can now be accessed through subscription databases and digital projects, these typically present only limited metadata about individual items. Because they remediate the textual content of periodicals, such resources divorce individual poems and articles from their original print context, thus encouraging what Mark Turner has called a “smash-and-grab approach” that mines periodicals for content without reference to their material form.4 By referring users to scanned digital facsimiles available in open-access digital archives,5 rather than reprinting the text of periodical poems, our project highlights “the ways that a single text is part of a wider, more complicated media and communications network.”6Figure 1 presents a view of two poems, “Recovery” and “Thyrsis,” printed on the last page of the March issue (verso) and the first page of the April issue (recto) from volume 13 (1866) of Macmillan’s Magazine. The juxtaposition of these poems is visible in the bound periodical volume, which is reproduced in digital surrogates like the scanned image shown here.7 This page opening highlights some of the bibliographic and paratextual data we believe scholars should consider, including poem length (14 vs. 240 lines), poet signature (an initial letter vs. a full signature), placement in the periodical issue (last vs. first page), poetic form (sonnet vs. elegy/ode), and the presence of paratextual apparatus.

Figure 1 | Google-digitized surrogate of Macmillan’s Magazine volume 13 held by the University of Michigan made available through the HathiTrust Digital Library.

Figure 1 | Google-digitized surrogate of Macmillan’s Magazine volume 13 held by the University of Michigan made available through the HathiTrust Digital Library.

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The opening page of Matthew Arnold’s “Thyrsis” includes several paratextual elements that anchor the poem in the specific circumstances of its composition: a subtitle names the poem’s subject, specifies his relationship to the poet, and lists the place and date of his death. A footnote also points readers to allusions to Arnold’s earlier poem “The Scholar-Gypsy.” Arnold’s full name is given in small capital letters following the poem’s text. Macmillan’s Magazine typically printed full author names with all contributions, which was a distinctive practice in the 1860s, when many periodicals printed most works unsigned or with only initial letters to indicate authorship. Notably, this first published version of “Thyrsis” does not include the epigraph from his unfinished drama about Lucretius that Arnold added when reprinting the poem in his 1867 New Poems.

The sonnet “Recovery” appears on the last page of the March 1866 issue, filling in the white space left on the page after the conclusion of C. E. Prichard’s essay “A Question Concerning Art.” Although Macmillan’s published many items with full authorial signatures, “Recovery” is signed with the letter A, rather than with William Allingham’s full name. This initial is made visually distinct by the use of black-letter type, which is uncommon for signatures in this era of Macmillan’s.8 Although it was more typical for poems to appear first in periodicals and later be reprinted in volume form, Allingham’s sonnet had already been published in his Fifty Modern Poems the year before. The poem’s title is highlighted in the running head to the periodical page, which emphasizes its presence in the issue. In the table of contents that appears at the beginning of the bound volume, the poem is listed only with its title and no indication of its author.

The placement of Arnold’s memorial poem on the first page of the April issue suggests the importance of poetry within Victorian periodicals, even though critics have traditionally viewed periodical poetry as “second-rate at best, and . . . intended primarily to fill up white space.”9 For poems like these that were also printed in book form, even if the linguistic text is identical in the periodical and volume versions, their audience and cultural function would have been quite different. Periodical circulation put poetry in front of a much larger readership, even as the cost of books declined over the nineteenth century. Poems in periodicals appear alongside serial fiction, nonfiction articles, editorial columns, and advertisements. Reading these diverse genres together within the context of the periodical issue and volume reveals what Linda Hughes identifies as the importance of “texts opening out onto each other dialogically” and “spatio-temporal convergences in print culture.”10 For example, the essay by C. E. Prichard that precedes Allingham’s “Recovery” argues that poetry should take a stand in “relation to moral good and evil.”11 The placement of these two texts on the same page of Macmillan’s highlights the theme and structure of Allingham’s sonnet, in which the octave describes the burden caused by “wicked thoughts” and the sestet describes how sleep transforms the speaker’s perception into an artistic view that allows him to “enjoy the colour” of the sky, sea, and sand.12 These potential relationships are apparent only within the context of the poems’ original publication in the periodical.

For writers as well-known as Arnold and Allingham, researchers could discover their periodical contributions by consulting enumerative bibliographies.13 Such works illuminate periodical publications that might be difficult to locate and situate them within an individual writer’s career. However, a focus on one writer or periodical limits the visibility of connections within the larger periodical publishing network. And, for the vast majority of periodical contributors, no such bibliographies exist. For decades, researchers in periodical studies have sought to make both Victorian periodicals “more readily usable by people who know what they want” and their contents “bibliographically more available so that scholars could more readily find out what they might want to use.”14

One of the main bibliographic resources for scholars interested in using Victorian periodicals has been the Wellesley Index to Victorian Periodicals, 1824–1900, edited by Walter Houghton and published in five print volumes from 1966 to 1989.15 The Wellesley Index presented an issue-by-issue list of the contents of forty-five selected monthly and quarterly Victorian periodicals in an abbreviated citation format that included titles, page numbers, and author names. Houghton and his team focused on identifying the authors of unsigned or pseudonymous articles through research in publishers’ archives, other printed materials, and authors’ personal records. Early in the project, Houghton decided to omit poetry from the Index because “to include 7000 or so poems, in many cases anonymous or pseudonymous, and if signed, by obscure versifiers, would cost far too much space, labor, and funding.”16 Although Houghton explained the omission of poetry in the introduction to each print volume, there is no indication of the absent poetry on the pages of the Index itself. Thus, a user looking up volume 13 of Macmillan’s Magazine in the Wellesley Index would not know about either “Recovery” or “Thyrsis” because it represents the transition between the two issues with the following list:

  • 629 A question concerning art, 443–448. C. E. Prichard. Signed.

  • Volume 13, April, 1866

  • 630 Cradock Nowell (chaps xlv-xlviii), 454–476. R. D. Blackmore. Signature.17

Viewed from the Wellesley Index, Macmillan’s Magazine contains prose articles and serial fiction; the view from the periodical page is quite different.

Today, some subscription databases incorporate bibliographic data from the Wellesley and other indexes along with full-text search to offer researchers access to the contents of many Victorian periodicals and the ability to search for authors, titles, and key terms across multiple indexes and periodicals. These databases individualize the texts published in periodicals and thus can be helpful in locating specific items, but they restrict the visibility of the many kinds of connections that periodical publication created. Conversely, digital libraries (like HathiTrust and Google Books) that do provide digital surrogates of the periodicals do not provide item-level metadata, so finding specific items is dependent on keyword searching specific strings in the printed text. Full-text search doesn’t obviate the need for specialized bibliographical information: although both “Recovery” and “Thyrsis” can be located within such databases or libraries, information about poetic features, page design, and periodical context is absent.

The Periodical Poetry Index

As researchers interested in periodicals and poetry, we created the Periodical Poetry Index in order to help researchers locate periodical poems, analyze publication patterns and other relationships in the data, and pursue new and different research questions. Our project design, data ontology, and indexing methodology follow a sociohistorical model of the literary text and represent each periodical printing of a given poem as a distinct entity, rather than as a unified literary work. We foreground this publication context by indexing information about the arrangement of poems within and across periodical issues, variations in contributor signature, and the appearance of different languages, paratextual elements, typography, and page design.

Both the original interface design and the new design of version 2.0 allow users to engage with the data organized by poems, contributors, or periodicals.18 In order to streamline the presentation of the data, both interface designs are deliberately minimalist; however, version 2.0 incorporates new technologies and showcases an expanded data ontology. We designed the project interface for version 2.0 to welcome both advanced researchers and those who don’t think of themselves as data specialists. This invitation to exploratory data analysis is constituted in three interactive tables that can each be sorted, filtered, and searched to allow users to develop research questions through manipulating variables of interest to them. In pursuing those questions, researchers can select items from the tables to display lists of bibliographic citations, which in the expanded view reveal details about the poem.

Our full database encompasses ninety-five variables that include bibliographic details and the results of our research into the poem’s publication in the periodical, many of which are visible once users choose to view item details. But in the opening data tables, users see only selected familiar features: bibliographical information such as periodical title, month, and year; historical information such as contributors’ names; and literary information such as poem titles and first lines. These data tables facilitate a comparative view across different time frames, periodicals, contributors, and poems. The interface encourages exploration because, rather than branching off to separate result pages, the results of any manipulations are visible in real time and can be easily revised. An information display at the bottom of the screen always references the full data set, showing the relationship between the filtered results and the total items in the particular table, and users can customize their view by setting display parameters to adjust the number of columns and items shown on the screen. In the sections that follow, we discuss the guiding principles and editorial decisions that shaped our new interface design, presenting examples from the poem, contributor, and periodical tables and from the poem details view to demonstrate how scholars can use the Periodical Poetry Index to explore the variety and complexity of poetry published in Victorian periodicals.

Our project interface eschews Victorian typefaces and illustrations in favor of a streamlined aesthetic that focuses on providing clear bibliographic information. A clean, feature-rich design reduces the number of required user interactions (mouse clicks) and facilitates comparative views of related items. Although data features not visible to users govern the sorting and display of information in the three data tables, all of that data is available from the item detail view. Minimalist principles thus guide the selection of information displayed at each level of the site for maximum readability. Each table (organized by poems, contributors, and periodicals) provides a different focus as an entry point into the data we have indexed from the pages of the periodicals and expanded through additional research. Once users select a table, they directly encounter our data in an interface that encourages discovery and exploration. Although a variety of filtering, sorting, and search mechanisms are available, users do not need to know in advance what they are looking for in order to explore the database.

Poem Table

Through the design and structure of the Poem Table, we make visible the historical and material contexts of periodical poetry by initially listing all the poems in the database in chronological and pagination order, which juxtaposes items published in a given month and year, both within an individual issue and from different periodicals. This allows users of our database to browse information about the poems that a Victorian reader could have encountered in the periodical press and encourages a synchronic comparison of different periodicals’ publishing practices during the same time period. The column display also reflects the information that nineteenth-century readers of periodicals could have accessed from the printed page.

The Poem Table columns provide data indexed from the pages of the periodical, showing information about the periodical publication on the left side of the display; in the center, the poem’s title, first line, and group or series; and on the right side, the printed name of the poet and/or translator. The order of these columns privileges details about the poem and its publication that are relevant for every item in the database and deemphasizes poet and translator information because many periodical poems were published without any printed signature. To reflect periodical printing practices and to streamline the user experience, the printed names of poets and translators are here displayed in reading order, whether those signatures are constituted by full names, initials, pseudonyms, and/or phrases.

In order to create a consistent user experience across the three tables, our interface design includes sort, filter, and search controls that highlight key research areas in our data and enable different kinds of historical and literary exploration. At the top of each table, as shown in figure 3, users can narrow the items shown with a pair of date-limiter fields. Drop-down panes offer faceted filtering of the table with item counts, which offer basic quantitative understanding of the data. A search box field also allows the user to narrow the displayed results by keywords in any column. Each data table can optionally also be resorted using the toggle controls at the top of the data columns. An essential feature of the information display is the message identifying the number of items shown and their relationship to the entire dataset. Any of these controls can be combined for advanced search capabilities.

Figure 2 | Poem Table.

Figure 3 | Poem Table controls.

Figure 3 | Poem Table controls.

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For the Poem Table, we created four data filters to reflect key areas of research in literary and periodical studies and to help users understand how poetry was situated within the multilingual pages of Victorian periodicals. Figure 4 shows the drop-down panes that allow the user to filter the table by periodical, poem length (including sonnet), poem language, and translation. The filtering options within a given pane display the item count in the full database, and selected filters can be combined both within and across panes, as shown here. Although sonnets are, of course, included in the category of very short poems of one to fifteen lines, we included the sonnet form as a specific filtering option because of its long literary history and popularity in the nineteenth century. The poem language and translation filters allow users to select specific languages of interest, highlighting the presence of both poems in multiple languages and poems in translation in Victorian periodicals; the most common source languages in our current data set are German, Greek, and Latin.

Figure 4 | Poem Table controls with drop-down panes open.

Figure 4 | Poem Table controls with drop-down panes open.

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Item Detail View

After users select specific data from the poem, contributor, or periodical tables, they are taken to a screen that lists the selected items in a bibliographic citation format, as shown in figure 5. These citations reflect the material publication context by including only information indexed from the periodicals. Thus, each entry displays the name, initials, or pseudonyms of contributors exactly as they appear on the page. Our citation format deliberately reflects the fact that nineteenth-century readers frequently encountered texts without markers of authorship, and so we mark items that were published without a poet’s name with the phrase “Poet not printed” and similarly indicate anonymous translators.

Figure 5 | Item detail list.

Figure 5 | Item detail list.

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From the list of selected items, users can choose to see details for the full list or for individually selected citations. Our information display uses the word “expand” to indicate the display of additional information underneath the citation without navigating away from the user’s list. As shown in figure 6, when a citation is expanded, the user sees a set of cards, or bordered text boxes, that graphically and spatially distinguish five categories in our data ontology: information about the poem, the printed page, and the poem’s creators, links to external resources, and additional notes. Every item in the database is displayed with the poem and external links cards; additional cards are displayed only if they are relevant to the specific item.

Figure 6 | Expanded item detail card open.

Figure 6 | Expanded item detail card open.

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The Poem Card displays the poem’s first line, which can be useful for researchers trying to identify subsequently published poems that may appear under different titles or without the poet’s name in the periodical as well as the poem length. The arrangement subfield indicates if the poem was published in a group and/or series; approximately 48 percent of the poems we have indexed were published in groups or series, either within a particular issue or extending over multiple issues of a periodical. We list the language of each poem to challenge the assumption that English was the default language of Victorian periodical verse. We also indicate if multiple languages are included on the page as epigraphs, titles, or phrases, in addition to the main language of the poem. Thus, these subfields display the complex multilingual nature of Victorian periodicals.

The Links Card, which is displayed to the right of the Poem Card, is also shown for every item in the database. To encourage the user to examine the poem in its original publication context, the View Volume subfield links to a digital surrogate of the periodical, where its placement on the page and juxtaposition with other articles can be seen.19 When we have author or translator attribution information, this card also displays links to attribution research sources.

To support the minimalist design of the site, the Page, Contributor, and Further Details Cards are shown only when they provide additional context. The Page Card displays information about paratextual elements that are sometimes printed with poems, such as epigraphs, prefaces, headnotes, and footnotes. This card also notes if the original language intertext is printed with a translation. The Page Features subfield indicates the presence of visual features such as distinctive typography, illustration, decorative borders, musical notation, and multicolumn poems. Although prose in periodicals is often printed in two or more columns, poetry is usually printed across the width of the full page, making multicolumn poems stand out. The Contributor Card presents attribution information for poets and translators, and the Further Details Card presents descriptive editorial notes about the idiosyncrasies of Victorian periodical poems.

Contributor and Periodical Tables

Every item in the Periodical Poetry Index is represented in each table, but the Contributor and Periodical Tables offer the user different views of the data that group and calculate quantitative information about poetry published in Victorian periodicals. Organized by published signature, the Contributor Table makes visible the sociohistorical context of periodical poetry by tracking the relationship of contributors and signatures across different periodicals and through time. Translations make up a significant portion of periodical poetry (23 percent of our current dataset); to recognize the poetic labor of translation, we chose the more inclusive term “contributor” in this table.

In the Contributor Table, as shown in figure 7, we have chosen to emphasize the variations in signature, rather than simply listing items under a contributor’s biographical name, in order to foreground the periodical context.20 This table reveals how the contributor name and printed signature do not always align. Victorian readers frequently encountered texts of all sorts without knowing the identity of their creators. The first column displays the biographical name of the contributor, when identified through attribution research, in standard bibliographic format (last name first), and the second column displays the signature as it was printed on the page of the periodical, whether a full name, initials, pseudonym, or phrase. We deliberately leave the contributor field empty when the person behind a pseudonym or initials has not been identified, in order to visually demarcate spaces for future research. Because our dataset includes both original poetry and translations, the third column indicates the role(s) associated with each signature. The next two columns of the Contributor Table offer information calculated from our dataset, showing the frequency of each signature and the number of different periodicals in which it appeared. The final two columns indicate the first and last years in which poems appeared under each signature.21

Figure 7 | Contributor Table.

Figure 7 | Contributor Table.

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Through the search and filter options in the Contributor Table, we provide researchers the ability to explore the contributors and signatures on the pages of periodicals. As noted previously, many of the search, filter, and sort controls are similar across all three tables, such as the date-delimiter fields, the search box, and the drop-down pane for periodical title. Two unique drop-down panes on the Contributor Table filter the signature data based on contributor gender and the gender implied by the name printed on the page, which sometimes did not align. Representing the complexity of these data without being reductive is important because of the differences in the concepts of gender in the nineteenth and twenty-first centuries. The biographical names in this table can be filtered to display only women or only men.22 For the printed names, however, the filter includes options listed as adjectives—feminine, masculine, or not gendered—to describe assumptions readers might make based on the name printed on the page and to accommodate the nuances of printed pseudonyms, initials, and descriptive phrases.23

In order to show poetry’s footprint within Victorian periodicals, the Periodical Table provides calculations derived from our dataset, as shown in figure 8. Each row provides citational and quantitative information about a separate periodical issue, with the first five columns displaying the periodical title, volume, issue, month, and year. For each issue, the last two columns calculate how many poems were included and how many pages featured poetry. Researchers can use these figures to analyze patterns in poetry’s publication. As previously noted, many of the search, filter, and sort controls are similar to the other two tables.

Figure 8 | Periodical Table.

Figure 8 | Periodical Table.

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Conclusion

The interface structures of version 2.0 described above emphasize feature-rich deep understanding of the periodical context for Victorian poems. As represented in our project, “Recovery” and “Thyrsis” are not just poems by canonical poets. Instead, the Periodical Poetry Index presents data about their poetic form, paratextual features, and periodical context that resituate these poems within larger publication practices.

As scholars in periodical studies, we appreciate and draw on previous bibliographic scholarship and add to it through using digital technologies. Like other scholars producing long-standing digital bibliographic projects in Victorian studies, we recognize that the magnitude and complexity of Victorian periodical publishing necessitate an extended commitment.24 Our approach to this work has always been iterative, responding both to our research discoveries and to new technological capabilities. This essay captures a moment in our project’s history when we are releasing version 2.0 of the Periodical Poetry Index and already planning future updates. This version represents a significant overhaul of both our interface and our data ontology that is the culmination of years of thinking and rethinking how we can best represent the poetry on the pages of Victorian periodicals. Walter Houghton’s pioneering work on the Wellesley Index of Victorian Periodicals lasted thirty years, from its initial conception in 1953 up until his death in 1983, and while we have been working together for only thirteen years, we anticipate many more years of collaboration and more versions of the Periodical Poetry Index in the future.

Notes

1.

For more about the start of our project, see Natalie M. Houston, Lindsy Lawrence, and April Patrick, “Bibliographic Databases and ‘The Golden Stream’: Constructing the Periodical Poetry Index,” Victorian Review 38, no. 2 (Fall 2012): 69–80.

2.

On the history and value of periodical indexes, see James Mussell, “Beyond the ‘Great Index’: Digital Resources and Actual Copies,” in Journalism and the Periodical Press in Nineteenth-Century Britain, ed. Joanne Shattock (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2017), 17–30 and “Indexes: Periodical Parts and the Bookish Afterlife,” Victorian Review 43, no. 2 (Fall 2017): 204–7.

3.

Natalie M. Houston, “Re: Search Technologies: A Counterfactual Exploration of The Wellesley Index,” Victorian Periodicals Review 54, no. 2 (Summer 2021): 304–26.

4.

Mark W. Turner, “Time, Periodicals, and Literary Studies,” Victorian Periodicals Review 39, no. 4 (Winter 2006): 310.

5.

We look at multiple facsimiles when possible to mitigate the widespread reliance on digital files created from a single physical copy.

6.

Turner, “Time, Periodicals, and Literary Studies,” 310.

7.

In this case, the annual volume is not simply created by library practices, as Macmillan’s Magazine was sold both in monthly issues and in annual volumes. For more on the significance of accessing periodicals through these digitized forms, see Ryan Cordell, “‘Q i-jtb the Raven’: Taking Dirty OCR Seriously,” Book History 20 (2017): 188–225, and Jon Klancher, “What Happened to the Periodical?,” Studies in Romanticism 59, no. 4 (Winter 2020): 507–18.

8.

“Threads,” a group of poems by Allingham published in September 1863, is signed with the same black-letter A, as is “Faith,” a poem in July 1863 that we believe to be Allingham’s, though we have not located a reprinting under his name.

9.

George J. Worth, “Poetry in Macmillan’s Magazine: A Preliminary Report,” Victorian Periodicals Review 23, no. 2 (Summer 1990): 56. See also Paula Bennett, “Not Just Filler and Not Just Sentimental: Women’s Poetry in American Victorian Periodicals,” in Periodical Literature in Nineteenth-Century America, ed. Kenneth Price and Susan Belasco Smith (Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 1995), 202–19.

10.

Linda K. Hughes, “Sideways!: Navigating the Material(ity) of Print Culture,” Victorian Periodicals Review 47, no. 1 (Spring 2014): 1–2.

11.

C. E. Prichard, “A Question Concerning Art,” Macmillan’s Magazine 13, no. 77 (March 1866): 448.

12.

[William Allingham], “Recovery,” Macmillan’s Magazine 13, no. 77 (March 1866): 448.

13.

A list of Matthew Arnold’s periodical contributions is included, for example, in Thomas Burnett Smart, comp. and ed., A Bibliography of Matthew Arnold (London: J. Davy and Sons, 1892). However, both P. S. O’Hegarty, A Bibliography of William Allingham (Dublin: A. Thom, 1945), and Mark Samuels Lasner, William Allingham: A Bibliographical Study (Philadelphia: Holmes, 1993), describe only Allingham’s published books. In “Poetry in Macmillan’s Magazine,” Worth notes that he omits from consideration many poets, including Allingham.

14.

Michael Wolff, “Charting the Golden Stream: Thoughts on a Directory of Victorian Periodicals,” Victorian Periodicals Newsletter 4, no. 3 (September 1971): 24.

15.

Since 1999, the Wellesley Index has been available in a digital format and is today incorporated within the C19 database published by ProQuest. For the origin and development of the Wellesley Index, see Patrick Leary, “‘I Have Just Had One of Those Large Ideas’: Walter Houghton, Richard Altick, and the Origins of The Wellesley Index,” Victorian Periodicals Review 54, no. 2 (Summer 2021): 279–303.

16.

Walter E. Houghton, “A Bulletin from ‘The Wellesley Index,’” Victorian Periodicals Newsletter 8, no. (June 1975): 68. For the implications of Houghton’s decision, see Linda K. Hughes, “What the Wellesley Index Left Out: Why Poetry Matters to Periodical Studies,” Victorian Periodicals Review 40, no. 2 (Summer 2007): 91–125.

17.

Volume 1 of Walter E. Houghton et al., eds., The Wellesley Index to Victorian Periodicals, 1824–1900 , 5 vols. (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1966–89), 575.

18.

We built version 2.0 using Bootstrap, an open-source front end development framework of HTML, CSS, and JavaScript components and the DataTables plugin for the Jquery JavaScript library.

19.

When possible, we link to digital volumes provided by the HathiTrust Digital Library. Access to resources in HathiTrust is governed by national copyright law. See “Access Use and Policies,” HathiTrust Digital Library, https://www.hathitrust.org/access_use.

20.

Felicia Hemans, for example, published twenty poems in Blackwood’s Edinburgh Magazine under her initials from 1818 to 1829 before switching her printed signature to Mrs. Hemans for over one hundred poems from 1829 to 1835.

21.

For initials or common phrases like “By a Lady,” these counts and time spans can indicate that multiple people were publishing under the same printed names.

22.

We follow the representation of nineteenth-century gender used in standard biographical reference sources for the contributors identified in our data.

23.

For example, our current data set includes poems under the masculine signature George Eliot and poems by Dinah Mulock Craik published under the ungendered phrase “By the author of ‘John Halifax, Gentleman.’” Although the identities of the authors behind these signatures are well known to us today, Victorian readers of periodicals would not necessarily have known that information.

24.

See, for example, The Curran Index, previously compiled and edited by Eileen Curran and Gary Simons and currently edited by Lara Atkin and Emily Bell; Troy Bassett’s At the Circulating Library; and Marie St. John Leger, Price One Penny.

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