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Perdita Manuscripts, 1500-1700

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“The Perdita Manuscripts project is on the cutting edge of digital scholarship, allowing scholars to consult detailed descriptions and full facsimiles of early modern women's manuscripts from a wide range of public and private collections through a simple yet versatile search interface.”

Dr Heather Wolfe, Curator of Manuscripts, Folger Shakespeare Library


This resource is produced in association with the Perdita Project based at the University of Warwick and Nottingham Trent University. Their goal was to identify and describe all manner of writing by early modern women from diaries to works of drama.

We have now enhanced their groundbreaking work by linking the new detailed catalogue descriptions with complete digital facsimiles of the original manuscripts. The result is a resource which is indispensable for anyone interested in women and women's writing in Early Modern Britain.

One of the key attractions of the resource is that it brings together little known material from widely scattered locations. This resource includes over two hundred and thirty manuscripts from fifteen libraries and archives in the UK and North America.

The manuscripts are remarkably varied in their content including works of poetry, religious writing, autobiographical material, cookery and medical recipes, and accounts. Historians and literary scholars alike will find this an invaluable resource. There are contextual essays from academics working in the field, as well as biographical and bibliographical resources.