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18th-Century Studies

A guide to conducting literary research on the eighteenth-century.

Introduction

The Internet has provided a venue for new kinds of research in literature, but it also presents a danger of credibility. Different editions of a text, for example, can provide widely different readings -- and potentially misleading information. Moreover, some kinds of statistical analysis used in the so-called "digital humanities" may provide evidence that is difficult to evaluate. So a word of caution is in order for using digital projects. That said, patrons can vet online resources by searching for information about the creators. On credible websites, bibliographic information is readily available. Look for scholars' names and university affiliations in the credits.

Scholarly Digital Text Projects

Open-source digital projects are opening new avenues for research, but since peer-review mechanisms are not standardized, a word of caution is in order: always check for a project's editorial board to vet reliability.