Dickens Novels to be Digitized in Serial Installments

Dec 16, 2008

Thanks to a project currently under way at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI), readers will soon be able to experience Charles Dickens novels in serial installments. With a $30,000 grant from the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissions (through the federal Library Services and Technology Act), the university’s Gordon Library is digitizing the original serial parts of all 15 of Dickens’s novels (150 parts, totaling 15,000 pages), including Oliver Twist, A Tale of Two Cities, and Great Expectations. The digitized works will become part of the first complete online archive of Dickens’s serialized novels, which will be available to readers and scholars through the Web. The serial parts will be scanned, and the resulting images will be saved as high-resolution PDF/A files. Each PDF will be fully text-searchable, enabling users to search for words or phrases in the novel or the accompanying ads. Each file will be enhanced with metadata—facts about the history of the individual serial parts and their preservation.