A New Digital Frontier for T. S. Eliot Scholarship

eliot signature

Hopkins Press is pleased to announce the launch of the digital T. S. Eliot collection on Project MUSE. Watch below as Anthony Cuda, managing editor of the digital collection, as well as a co-editor of the second volume of The Complete Prose of T. S. Eliot: The Critical Edition and a Professor of English at UNC Greensboro, shares all the exciting features available on this new digital platform. 

 In a forthcoming essay, Professor Cuda describes the incredible breadth and depth of what The Complete Prose of T. S. Eliot offers for the first time to scholars: “In its hardcover and PDF versions, the eight-volume Complete Prose contains 6,540 printed pages. The volumes assemble a total of 1,077 prose items, ranging from book reviews and chronicles to essays, lectures, letters to the editor, even short fiction. Of those, 116 had not been previously published anywhere: they appear in The Complete Prose for the first time."

This HTML version of The Complete Prose features a responsive web design, so it can adapt and shift to readers’ screens while maintaining identical pagination to the PDF version. These page markers are crucial for students and researchers who need to refer to and cite accurate page numbers in their research and papers. One of the most exciting features of this digital edition is a search bar that allows users to search keywords and automatically retrieve results across the entire collection of 1,077 prose pieces that Eliot wrote in his lifetime.

Screen shots of digital T. S. Eliot Prose Edition

The search functionality of the HTML version also allows users to click the volume and type the page number they need to instantly retrieve it without the prolonged time that scrolling through multiple PDFs takes. “As editors we always envisioned annotations that keep the reader in the text, that enrich the reading experience rather than distracting from it, and this new platform helps to realize that intention even more effectively, because you can now access the annotations in so many different ways,” Professor Cuda says. 

The digital version also allows users to automatically create citations from the text in multiple styles and instantly access summaries, footnotes and endnotes, and tables of contents, as well as images and indexes. All of these features streamline the reading process and give scholars and readers the flexibility to browse thousands of pages of Eliot’s work and see the poet and his works in a new and more robust light. Professor Cuda explains how the editing process of this massive collection can have such a powerful effect on the reading experience: “In the abstract, editorial decisions can seem both fussy and overbearing. But at their best, they quietly guide and reshape the reading experience of a text in illuminating and revelatory ways.”

The Chronicle of Higher Education wrote that The Complete Prose of T. S. Eliot: The Critical Edition “will set in motion a golden era of Eliot scholarship.” This new digital platform for all of Eliot’s prose will help usher in this golden era and open the accessibility of this rich collection to countless readers and scholars around the world.

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Written by: Kristina Lykke
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