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Websites should be used sparingly in scholarly research. Students must act as investigators when evaluating a website and ask themselves:
Who? Is the author of the site a person or an organization? How do I know I can trust them? What qualifies them to share/report on this information?
What?Does the website make any claims that need backed up with evidence? Am I finding the same claims in other places? Does the information have any bias?
When?When was this page last updated? Is this time-sensitive information?
Where?What type of URL is it? Is it at a .org, .edu, or .gov? (Return to Who? if uncertain about whether you should trust a URL)
Why? What is the purpose of this website? To inform? To persuade? (Return to What? if uncertain about the information)
Use good sense when looking at a website. If it looks like some random person slapped together a Word document and put it online at a .net, chances are it's not worth using! Look for grammatical errors, pop-ups, and other general design for indicators of whether it is a professional/information website.
The below websites are specifically archives of information (similar to databases) and may be used when the same information cannot be found in a reference source or article/book.
The Victorian Web concentrates on Great Britain in the age of Victoria (1837-1901), but includes much material before and after those years, and the site also has a good deal of comparative material. It includes primary and secondary texts (including scholarly book reviews) in British Victorian economics, literature, philosophy, political and social history, science, technology, and visual arts.
The Shelley-Godwin Archive will provide access to the digitized manuscripts of Percy Bysshe Shelley, Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley, William Godwin, and Mary Wollstonecraft, bringing together online for the first time ever the widely dispersed handwritten legacy of this family of writers. 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, and the Houghton Library. In total, these partner libraries contain over 90% of all known relevant manuscripts. The S-GA is currently in beta. Check back regularly for more digitized content.
The Voice of the Shuttle provides an annotated guide to online humanities resources in the fields of cultural studies, literature, media studies, and more. It emphasizes both primary and secondary (or theoretical) resources.
The Victorian Women Writers Project is primarily concerned with the exposure of lesser-known British women writers of the 19th century. The collection represents an array of genres - poetry, novels, children's books, political pamphlets, religious tracts, histories, and more. It contains both prolific and rare authors.