Alexander Pope’s manuscripts are some of the most precious resources available to scholars of eightenth-century literary history. It is in those manuscripts that we can see the deliberacy, canniness, and collaborativity of Pope’s revisions. As they are gathered together in PMO, these manuscripts will together afford a longitudinal view of Pope’s achievements never before possible. Pope’s manuscripts have been collected and thoroughly dispersed across libraries and private collections in the US and UK over the past 250 years. Their very desirability as artifacts has made a collective study of them nigh-on impossible. The goal of the project is not only to remediate a material corpus on a screen but to reunite that corpus from both sides of the Atlantic.
In the pilot stage of PMO, scholars will be able to view three sets of manuscripts (from 1717, 1725, and 1730) and browse them by selected metadata categories. This will be a first step towards a holistic view of the compositional practice of one of the most important and original poets ever to have written in English.