On Valentine’s Day, the Guardian announced the online publication of the Browning love letters, letters exchanged between Robert Browning and Elizabeth Barrett Barrett, which I also reported on elsewhere in this blog.
The article mentions that there are 573 letters, and a first glance at the project shows what a fantastic resource this is. Not only are the letters presented in images, including the back and front of the envelopes, but the letters are also available in transcription. What is more, the image can be shown alongside the text, which facilitates the reading of the original handwriting. The text can be copied and pasted into text documents for analysis with a concordancing tool, though at the moment I can’t see how this can be down more quickly than through page-by-page downloading. This should be quite a job for all 573 letters once they will be available, but it would enable us to do real corpus-based research on them. Something to look forward to, definitely