Philip Sidney: a herald of correspondences

OUPetcfinallogos4We could not be more delighted to announce today’s publication in EMLO of a fascinating sixteenth-century correspondence catalogue: that of Philip Sidney, the poet and Elizabethan diplomat and courtier, which comes to us as the result of an exciting new partnership between EMLO and Oxford University Press’s major digital publishing enterprise, Oxford Scholarly Editions Online [OSEO].

When discussion began between these two projects at the end of last year, little did we at EMLO realise that, as a pilot dataset, we would be presented with meticulously prepared metadata for this gem of a correspondence from Roger Kuin’s exemplary publication, The Correspondence of Sir Philip Sidney, which was published in hard copy by OUP in 2012 and released on OSEO in September 2013.


Detail from the portrait of Sir Philip Sidney, after an unknown artist. (© National Portrait Gallery, London, NPG 2096)

For those who have yet to explore the veritable virtual library that is OSEO — launched just three years ago to widespread critical acclaim — there is a treat in store. Over 600 scholarly editions are mounted online already under the banner of this landmark OUP digital project, including letters, plays, poems, and a host of prose works from the fifteenth to the nineteenth centuries. In the case of Sidney, alongside the letters, OSEO offers texts of this remarkable young man’s poems and prose. In coming years, OSEO will release correspondence calendars of many other key early modern figures for republication in EMLO, with each letter record linking back to the OUP’s edited text. EMLO users within subscribing institutions will be able to move seamlessly from EMLO to the printed texts in OSEO, whilst even those without full access will be able to take advantage of the relevant bibliographic information, including page numbers, for the hard-copy volumes.

Diplomat to the core, the iconic English poet Sidney heralds a glimpse into what lies ahead for us all. We hope our users will enjoy exploring Sidney’s correspondence, his short life, and his remarkable literary work, and will relish also the appearance within EMLO of a long series of OSEO corespondences to be added in the coming months and years as a result of this invaluable partnership.