Katharine Van Arsdale’s recent “Internet review” in the June 2016 issue of College & research library news of the web-based project “Romantic Circles” (itself celebrating its 20th anniversary this year) reminded us of contributions to the Romantic Circles gallery from Special Collections. These contributions derived from work in 2009 by students of Prof. Theresa Kelley and Prof. Jill Casid of the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Romantic Circles is “a peer-reviewed scholarly website dedicated to the study of Romantic-period literature and culture.” It includes, among other sections, a gallery that offers “as a prototype, several thematically defined portraits of Romantic visual culture” (this from the “Rationale” by Theresa Kelley and Richard Sha). Browsing the gallery by collection brings up images and related metadata for works in the Department of Special Collections, among other repositories. Students enrolled in Prof. Kelley’s and Prof. Casid’s seminars in 2009 and Prof. Kelley selected these images and compiled the extensive metadata describing them.
The images range widely – from Doctor Syntax sketching the lake
to a spider’s nest,
from an “iceberg adhering to icy reef”
to an automaton swan –
and suggest the breadth of iconographic resources in Special Collections illuminating the Romantic period.