British Women Romantic Poets

Women poets of the British Romantic era are underrepresented in the English literary canon despite being active writers whose work was distributed both in print and manuscript forms. The Kohler Collection of Minor British Poetry, housed in the UC Davis Shields Library Special Collections, features over 14,000 letters, essays, and poems produced during the nineteenth century and includes many poems written by women writers such as Mary-Ann Carter and Caroline M. Gemmer. 

The British Women Romantic Poets project, first published by the UC Davis Shields Library in the 1990s, made many of these women’s poems digitally accessible in a web-based archive of TEI encoded texts in an effort to fill this gap in the British literary canon. This archive was taken offline in 2016 due to a major overhaul of the library’s server infrastructure. Since that time, the DataLab team has been working to update the encoding of the texts in the archive to the latest TEI standards so that they can be re-published as a 2nd edition on the Romantic Circles website as part of their Electronic Editions collection.

The TEI encoding of the texts for the 2nd edition of the archive is being executed in partnership with a graduate student from the Department of English and a local high school student intern, part of a larger effort to foster data science skills and provide professional and mentorship opportunities to students in the community. By extracting and updating the existing XML tags to meet current TEI standards, DataLab and our student partners are preparing the database for transference to its new host, who aims to establish a new edition of the poetry in their digital editions section by fall 2022. By recovering the work of these Romantic women poets, we can ensure that their poetry is accessible to scholars and the general public. This highly anticipated edition will enable new scholarship on underrepresented poets of the era and increase knowledge about women’s participation in late-19th century literary circles.

If you need access to files from the archive before the relaunch of the site, you may request a copy of the raw data files by contacting us: