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DigitalDonne is the online component of The Variorum Edition of the Poetry of John Donne (8 vols. Indiana UP, 1995-) a collaborative work drawing on the labors of over 30 scholars from the United States and abroad. The project was organized in 1980 and has enjoyed support from the National Endowment for the Humanities since 1986.
The edition’s primary aim is two-fold: to produce a newly edited critical text based on exhaustive analysis of all known manuscript and significant print sources of Donne’s poetry; to present a complete digest of critical and scholarly commentary on the poetry from Donne's time to the present. Of the print edition, volumes 6 (The Anniversaries and the Epicedes and Obsequies) and 8 (The Epigrams, Epithalamions, Epitaphs, Inscriptions, and Miscellaneous Poems) were published in 1995, volume 2 (The Elegies) in September of 2000, and volume 7, part 1 (The Holy Sonnets) in November of 2005. Publication of volume 3 (The Satires) is expected in the spring of 2011; work on the 3-part volume 4 (The Songs and Sonnets) is underway.
This website grew out of an earlier Variorum site devoted to tracking progress on the edition, as well as to providing information about the project's materials, history, editorial procedures, and personnel (information on these matters is available through various hyperlinks on this page). In the spring of 2005, however, we began to develop the site in a number of new directions and now have online a substantially expanded arsenal of analytical and bibliographical tools, including many that were originally intended for print publication in volume 1. These tools include first-line indexes of major editions and manuscripts, an archive of downloadable transcriptions of source texts, collation and transcription software, various cross-reference and finding lists, and a comprehensive concordance to Donne’s poems. With the permission of the University of Missouri Press and Duquesne University Press, we also here present PDF versions of the first three of John R. Roberts’s annotated bibliographies of modern Donne criticism (which cover the years 1912 to 1995); and—as an original online publication—we here present the fourth volume in Roberts’s series, John Donne: An Annotated Bibliography of Modern Criticism 1996–2005 (see Resources).
A recent innovation, which provides virtual access to the most important of the early editions and manuscripts upon which the Variorum is based, is our collection of Digital Facsimile Editions. In addition to Donne’s holograph verse letter to the Lady Carey, this collection includes the 1633, 1635, and 1669 editions of Donne’s collected Poems, as well as the St. Paul’s, the Westmoreland, and the O’Flahertie manuscripts. Plans are underway to add others in the near future.
Development of this website has been made possible in part by grants from the Division of Research Programs of the National Endowment for the Humanities, an independent federal agency. Any views, findings, or recommendations expressed on this website do not necessarily reflect those of the National Endowment for the Humanities.