British Library Sticks 1,200 Musty Classics Online

By Gary Cutlack on at

The British Library has digitised 1,200 of the country's "greatest literary treasures" and stuck them online, in a Victorian rarities archive that includes weird stuff like criminal slang from the early 1800s and notebooks written by the Brontë sisters as children.

The newly updated Romantics and Victorians section of the library's site wants to help humanise the writers of old, letting users browse their notes, letters, early drafts, contemporary press reports and reviews, revision notes and more, with the archive also including reviews of Jane Austen's work from her friends and family, transcribed by the author herself.

The idea, according to the library's Roger Walshe, is that seeing original works in their original format may "bring to life a novel or poem written centuries ago" and help today's students get a bit more excited about our literary heritage. Plus they can do it all in a tab while reading Twitter. [British Library via Guardian]

Image Credit: The British Library from Shutterstock