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"Orlando: women’s writing in the British Isles from the beginnings to the present" provides literary biographies of about a thousand British women writers, detailing their lives and their writing careers. It also contains some biographies of women writers who are not British, some men who were writers, and roughly 30,000 contextualizing historical events.


  1. No external resources are required!


  1. Log in to the Orlando project through the databases available at your university, or through your own subscription from Cambridge University Press. If you are participating in the interface study, then log in with your password to the research site:
  2. Choose an entry point from the list in the nav panel on the left.
  3. Set up your search criteria using the fields available. These differ for each of the entry points.
  4. Narrow your search using the additional palettes on the right (displayed in a lighter shade of blue).
  5. Pursue the links involved in the search results.


Someone with an interest in the history of women writing ghost stories might begin by going to the link on the left nav bar called “Chronologies: by tags,” choosing “ghost stories” from the picklist called “or by genre,” and pushing the GO button. The search will produce 39 hits in chronological order from March 1796 to August 2008.

For a different set of results, try clicking on the left nav bar “People: by genre”, picking “ghost stories” from the picklist called “by genre” and selecting Results Type: “excerpts” in the options box on the lower right. This search produces 95 results from writers’ entries.

For the fullest results set, click in the left nav bar on “Tag Search: in writings”, select “Genre” in the first box called “Search”, then click on “select an attribute of this tag” right below the search boxes, select the radio button for “Genre Name” and select “Ghost Story” from the picklist. This produces 102 excerpts from writers’ entries, plus the timeline of 39 events on a separate tab.


Advanced Tips

  1. The most sophisticated searching of Orlando is found under the “Tag Search: combined” link in the left nav panel.
  2. Some of the tutorials from the left nav panel include an optional link back to automatically fill in the search criteria, making it easy to see how the examples were constructed.

===Who has worked on creating it===

The Orlando Project was led by Patricia Clements, Isobel Grundy, and Susan Brown at the University of Alberta and the University of Guelph.

Where to read about it

Brown, Susan, Isobel Grundy, Patricia Clements, Renée Elio, Sharon Balazs, Rebecca Cameron. “Intertextual Encoding in the Writing of Women’s Literary History.” Computers and the Humanities 38 (2004): 191-206.

A more complete list is available here:


By online subscription from Cambridge University Press. Trial user accounts are also available in connection with the Orlando user study by emailing

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