The Shelley-Godwin Archive provides the digitized manuscripts of Percy Bysshe Shelley, Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley, William Godwin, and Mary Wollstonecraft, aiming to unite online for the first time the widely dispersed handwritten legacy of this uniquely gifted family of writers, and thereby document their works, life, and thought, including the development of many outstanding pieces of English literature and political philosophy.
The result of a partnership between the New York Public Library and the Maryland Institute for Technology in the Humanities, in cooperation with Oxford’s Bodleian Library, the S‑GA also includes key contributions from the Huntington Library, the British Library, the Houghton Library, and the Victoria and Albert Museum. In total, these partner libraries contain over 90% of all known relevant manuscripts.
In the initial phases of the project, we are most interested in providing open and centralized access for the widely distributed manuscripts, making them viewable as pages both in the order in which they appear in the manuscript and in the linear sequence in which they appear in the work. The manuscript notebooks of Percy Shelley, in particular, are generally filled with a variety of material, with the drafts of individual poems scattered throughout on any available pages. While there is much valuable information to be gained by viewing these pages in their notebook order, being able to see in sequence all of the pages belonging to a particular work is also extremely valuable. Over time, we hope to present all known manuscripts for any given work of our four authors. Thus, for example, we will be uniting the fair copy of Prometheus Unbound with all of the known drafts for the poem, with the drafts themselves presented, as closely as possible, both in the linear sequence of the work and in the page sequence of the manuscripts in which they are found. Our “Explore the Archive” section presents users with the choice of accessing page images in the form of manuscripts or works.http://shelleygodwinarchive.org/about/