About the Project

This site presents a digital edition of an Orientalist manuscript by the romantic poet, John Leyden. "The Tales of the Peries" was initially transcribed by a friend soon after his death in 1811, and is now reproduced here, with a textual transcription, and with permission of the National Library of Scotland. All of the material on the site, including transcriptions, critical analysis, and interactive components, was produced by an English seminar at the University of Pennsylvania as part of the Ben Franklin Scholars Program.

Within this site, you will find both digital facsimiles of the original manuscript, a textual transcription of the manuscript, and a host of supporting materials and research on Leyden, the subject of "Tales of the Peries," and representations of the fantastic orient in the early nineteenth century. The materials include interactive Flash maps that explore the tale itself, a host of critical and historical materials evaluating the manuscript itself and the context of East India Company trade in Southeast Asia, and an evaluation of the bibliographic resources Leyden used when writing the original work.

The seminar participants who collaborated on the project included: Michael Accardo, Nora Castle, Taylor Cook, Timothy Delaney, Matt Deng, Alison Feder, Isaac Garcia, Daniel Hartsoe, Emily Kern, Madeleine Kruhly, Kelly Lawler, Kai Syuen Loh, Johnathan Mell, Jing Ran, Alethea Roe, Henry Wang, and Emmett Wynn.

Technical and financial support for the project was provided by the English Department, Van Pelt Library, and School of Arts and Sciences Computing diivions of the University of Pennsylvania. Facsimiles of the original manuscript were provided, with permission, courtesy of the National Library of Scotland.

The site runs on the OMEKA digital curation platform, supported by Apache, Wikimedia, and MySQL. Specific components were developed using the Scripto plugin for Omeka, Flash, and Google Maps.

As the project director, I want to personally thank everyone involved, and especially the seminar participants, for their hard work and the remarkable achievement of producing a scholarly resource over the course of three short months (and in addition to substantial additional coursework).


Devin Griffiths

English Department, University of Pennsylvania