About The Project  |  News & Updates  |  Prototypes  |  Our Mutual Friend MS History  |  Contact

About the Digital Dickens Notes Project

TN1watermarksmallerhe DDNP is digitizing and exploring Charles Dickens’s working notes for his novels. Currently under construction, this project aims to interactively demonstrate how Victorian readers experienced serial novels as forms-in-process rather than as complete texts.

Manuscripts of the working notes survive in whole or in part for ten of Dickens novels: The Old Curiosity Shop, Martin Chuzzlewit, Dombey and Son, David Copperfield, Bleak House, Hard Times, Little Dorrit, Great Expectations, Our Mutual Friend, and Edwin Drood. Beginning with his last completed novel, Our Mutual Friend, the DDNP will gradually digitize and annotate all of these notes and place them alongside, and in the context of, the serial parts of his novels, some of which were published in weekly and some in monthly parts.

This project is directed by Anna Gibson, assistant professor of English at Duquesne University. Funding and support for this project has generously provided by Duquesne University, the Wimmer Family Foundation, Duquesne’s NEH Endowment fund, the Duke Ph.D. Lab, and NINES funding for DHSI. My thanks also to the Pierpont Morgan Library, home of the Our Mutual Friend manuscript.


News and Updates

Latest Update! April 2017: View the latest prototype experiments for the Our Mutual Friend DDNP project here, including a new visual prototype for the second installment notes. Also take a look at the new manuscript description and history.

The visual prototype displays the MS image and transcription side-by-side with critical notes and a zoom-function to enable user-friendly viewing.

Update! I am working on basic transcriptions of the Our Mutual Friend working notes in JuxtaEditions. These do not yet have the formatting transcribed, but they do help users read the notes. This is a work in progress! See more here.

Update! All the Our Mutual Friend working notes images from the Pierpont Morgan Library have been uploaded to the prototype with JuxtaEditions. Transcriptions and introductions are still in the works, but you can look at the manuscripts here.

Update! Thanks to an NEH Endowment Grant from Duquesne University and the assistance of the Pierpont Morgan Library in New York, we now have high resolution digital images of the working notes for Our Mutual Friend. I have uploaded and transcribed the first installment using Juxta Editions.

The Juxta Editions prototype displays zoomable, high-resolution images beside transcriptions.

Update!  Take a look at the progress — an xml markup and screenshots of the working prototype for the second installment.  Details here.

Prototype Screenshot

Screenshot of the early prototype. Click to read and see more.


Update!  Digital Dickens Notes now has a Twitter Feed!  Find us at @DickensNotes


Early Digital Abstract

An earlier digital abstract for the project is available here:



For more information about this project, please contact Anna Gibson, Department of English, Duquesne University via her website, via email at gibsona at duq dot edu