SFU Lake District Collection (LDC)

SFU is home to one of the largest collections of rare books relating to the Lake District in the Northwest of England. The Lake District Collection (LDC) contains more than 250 illustrated first and rare editions dating from 1709, with a concentration in the nineteenth century. Of particular bibliographic interest are the LDC’s many period maps, excellent samples of engraving and illustration techniques and processes, including lithography, chromolithography and photography, as well as ornate bindings.

From its origins as a section of SFU Library’s Wordsworth Collection founded in 1973 by Jared Curtis (professor emeritus of SFU’s English Department and Coordinating Editor of the Cornell University Wordsworth Project), the LDC has grown steadily over the years to achieve a remarkable integrity and uniqueness. In 1989, Professor Mark L. Reed (U North Carolina), a renowned Wordsworth scholar, assessed SFU Library’s Wordsworth Collection and identified as one of its strengths late eighteenth and nineteenth-century guides, tours, and histories concerning the Lake District (Curtis 1999). In the early 2000s, the Library and a team of scholars created an annotated online bibliography of 99 selected books from the LDC.

Building on this pioneering digital humanities project, the Lake District Online aims to create a fully searchable, interactive digital archive of the entire LDC corpus,preserving searchable, high-resolution digital images and text files within a metadata framework designed to index, analyze, and visualize bibliographical, biographical, and historical information about the books as well as their contents.