19th Century Pamphlets

CURL Project to Provide Enhanced Access to 19th Century Pamphlet Collections (1801-1914)


The purpose of the project is to provide enhanced access to the collections of nineteenth-century pamphlets housed in twenty-one academic libraries across the United Kingdom (nineteen CURL members and two other university libraries) and to raise awareness of this valuable research resource amongst the higher education community. As a result of this project, significant and rare primary resources, many of which have hitherto been untapped, will be unlocked for the benefit of UK researchers from a wide range of disciplines within the humanities and social sciences, including anthropology, archaeology, education, social, economic and political history, law, medicine and theology.

The total cost of the project has been estimated at £863,350. The University of Birmingham has been awarded a £540,000 grant from RSLP to manage the project, the remaining costs being met by the partners, including CURL whose contribution amounts to £45,000.


The project comprises two main components:

  • A programme of targeted retrospective conversion that entails the computerisation of 177,000 records from the card catalogues of the libraries involved.

    The cataloguing work, which takes place in the libraries where the collections are held, is co-ordinated by a project manager, based at the University of Birmingham, whose role it is to monitor the partner libraries’ performance against agreed targets and standards. As many records as possible are downloaded from high-quality bibliographic databases, such as CURL and RLIN, in order to reduce in-house cataloguing effort.

  • A web-based guide mapping the pamphlet collections at collection-level, to be developed by the project manager in collaboration with the partner institutions. The guide, which will also provide links to the institutions’ relevant web pages and online catalogues, will be searchable by institution and by subject.



    Twenty-one university libraries are participating in the project:


    Project Manager

    Jackie Hwang
    Bibliographic Services
    Information Services
    The University of Birmingham
    Birmingham B15 2TT

    Tel: 0121 414 5814
    Fax: 0121 471 4691
    E-mail: j.r.hwang@bham.ac.uk

    Project website


    Content: Gill Davenport
    Last updated 2 July 2002