Crowd-Sourcing the Graphic Covers of Victorian Crowd-Pleasers

Thursday, February 18, 2016 - 10:00am to Sunday, April 10, 2016 - 10:00pm

The front cover of Victor Hugo's novel Workers of the Sea, with an illustration of a man armed with a knife fighting a monstrous octopus.UCLA Library Special Collections houses the Michael Sadleir Collection of Nineteenth-century Fiction by nineteenth-century writers. Among them are what are popularly known as “yellowbacks.” These books with colorfully printed covers were often sold at English railway stations during the Victorian era. The cover art attracted Victorian consumers by acting as teasers for texts.

To make these beautiful book covers more accessible and to promote their public discovery, UCLA scholars have created the Flickr Yellowback Cover Art collection. Crowd-sourced tags enrich viewers’ experiences of the images and make the collection more searchable for future users. This digital project is still underway, and further tagging is welcomed.

The exhibit is organized by Ellen Truxaw, project manager for the digitization and tagging project and a graduate student studying nineteenth-century British literature and digital humanities, in consultation with Jonathan Grossman, UCLA professor of English.



Research Library (Charles E. Young)