Yale Digitizes Historic Correspondence of Author Horace Walpole, Available Online
Yale’s Lewis Walpole Library has digitized the complete 48 volumes of “The Yale Edition of Horace Walpole’s Correspondence” (Yale University Press, 1937-1983). This new digital resource provides free online access to the complete correspondence of Horace Walpole (1717-1797). An author and collector, Walpole is well known for his Gothic villa called Strawberry Hill, which was built along the Thames River and attracted so much attention that it was considered a “treasure house.” Walpole was the youngest son of Sir Robert Walpole, England’s first prime minister. The digitization of this scholarly work coincides with the 294th anniversary of Walpole’s birthday in September.
Wilmarth Sheldon Lewis ’18 B.A. dedicated nearly half a century to producing the “Yale Edition,” which set a new standard for scholarly editing by providing an authoritative text, extensive and informative annotations as well as a comprehensive index. The appendices include a wealth of supplementary texts, including writings by Walpole and several of his correspondents.
To create the digital version of “The Yale Edition of Horace Walpole’s Correspondence,” each page of the printed volumes was scanned and run through optical character recognition (OCR) processing to allow scholars to browse pages as well as search the text for keywords. In addition, users can browse indexes created from the OCR text, including indexes by date of correspondence and by name of correspondent as well as indexes to the illustrations and appendices.
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