Digitizing Edith Wharton's LIbrary
The EdithWhartonsLibrary.org project began during the summer of 2015 with support from the University of North Dakota and the Edith Wharton Society. Our mission was to create an accessible, digital home for Edith Wharton’s library books, allowing scholars and members of the public to virtually browse the shelves of the collection and, perhaps, enticing them to visit the physical space of the library at The Mount in Lenox, MA, Edith Wharton's historic home.
Work on this project has been multi-phased and ongoing, and is made possible through the collaborative efforts of a number of scholars, students, librarians, and curators working in cooperation with The Mount.
As of April 2020, the virtual library is complete, meaning that for each of the roughly 2,700 books that exist in Wharton’s library, there is digital version that can be found here. However, that’s not to say that we are done; maintenance continues on the site, just as new books belonging to Edith Wharton continue to be discovered and added to The Mount’s. As such, we welcome your comments and observations as users. Please feel free to get in touch using the “Contact” page.
In the meantime, there are two types of digital records that can be found and accessed here in the library:
I. Preview Entries
For books or specific editions that are already widely available elsewhere—in the public domain, for example, or via other, digital archives—you will find “preview” materials. These include detailed records and metadata along with high-resolution, digital scans that show proof of ownership by Wharton, edition and publishing information, and any additions that Wharton (or previous / subsequent owners) made to the text in the form of markings, underlinings, or annotations.
II. Full-text Entries
For volumes that have been deemed significant to Wharton scholarship, have been heavily marked or annotated, or are not available elsewhere via other digital archives, you will find complete, full-text scans of the text. These searchable, high-resolution files are downloadable and provided alongside detailed records and metadata that describe the history and physical condition of the text.
Over time, we will work to add more full-text entries to the site and to convert some “preview” entries into more complete records, where possible or necessary. If you have questions about a specific volume or would like to see a full-text entry provided for it in the future, please get in touch!
Thank you for your time, interest, and patience!
- The EWL.org Team