END helps researchers write new histories of the novel and novelists imagine how the history and future of fiction might be different.
By uniting twenty-first-century database and search technologies with the sensibility of eighteenth-century indexing practices, END creates several innovative access points to our collection of controlled-term and descriptive metadata about novels published between 1660-1830. Our project team of trained undergraduate researchers pages through each novel in our expanding corpus to describe – using both controlled terms and more discursive vocabularies – all of the ways that early novels organize themselves. We record and encode information about how early novels instruct readers about themselves, carefully describing prefaces, introductions, and dedications; tables of contents, indexes; title-page genre terms and footnotes buried deep within the text. Each record includes both discursive descriptions of copy-specific information and codified languages that enable nimble search.
We are also working of a series of related full-text projects, working to map extant and lost titles of eighteenth-century fiction towards the creation of an openly available full-text archive of early fiction in English.