Oxford University Press Puts Its Full ‘World Classics’ List Online

In News by Porter Anderson

‘In the last year, we’ve really seen the importance of reliable digital products’ amid the constraints of the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic, says academic division managing director David Clark.

Image: Oxford World’s Classics

By Porter Anderson, Editor-in-Chief | @Porter_Anderson

A Series More Than 100 Years in the Making
This week, the Oxford University Press has announced a new digital resource, bringing together its flagship “Oxford World’s Classics” collection in a single dedicated digital format.

Institutional users will have access to 300 works, “ranging from 18th-century dramas and essays to core Victorian novels, complete with up-to-date supplementary materials,” according to media messaging.

The new online version of the series “is designed with users in mind,” per information from the publisher. The new site’s searching and browsing functionality is said to be easy to “allow researchers, lecturers, and students to pinpoint the material they need.

“Integrated sharing and social media tools also make it easy for readers to distribute precise content with colleagues and students, facilitating seminar discussions and essay ideas.”

David Clark

David Clark, managing director of Oxford University Press’ academic division is quoted in announcements of the new availability, making the connection between the offering and lessons learned during the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic.

Clark says, “In the last year, we’ve really seen the importance of reliable digital products as universities and libraries have come under extraordinary strain.

“Digital products like our online ‘Oxford World’s Classics’ enable research and teaching to continue in these unparalleled times but will also help to permanently expand access, giving users the chance to explore beyond just what’s available in the nearest library.

“It’s great to think that the next generation of humanities students will be able to access reliable, consistent, rigorously prepared editions of key texts, thanks to the technological progress of the 21st century.”

The World’s Classics Series

This collection of literature has been a part of Oxford’s work for more than a century, according to the press’ information, and yet until now, it hadn’t been brought together in a single location.

Researchers will find translations from the 18th and 19th century—from Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, Fyodor Dostoevsky’s Crime and Punishment, Émile Zola’s Germinal, and Leo Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina to Charles Darwin’s The Origin of Species and Olaudah Equiano’s The Interesting Narrative.

Following the presentations made in print, each online version uses the program’s approved text with notes on the origins of the work and editorial decisions.

The accompanying scholarship and supplementary material include introductions, explanatory notes, chronologies, bibliographies, illustrations, glossaries, and appendices.

And the Worlds’ Classics now join two other such digitized series—”What Everyone Needs To Know” and an expansion of “Oxford Scholarship Online.”


More from Publishing Perspectives on Oxford University Press is here, and more on digital publishing is here

More on the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on international book publishing is here

About the Author

Porter Anderson

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Porter Anderson is a non-resident fellow of Trends Research & Advisory, and he has been named International Trade Press Journalist of the Year in London Book Fair's International Excellence Awards. He is Editor-in-Chief of Publishing Perspectives. He formerly was Associate Editor for The FutureBook at London's The Bookseller. Anderson was for more than a decade a senior producer and anchor with CNN.com, CNN International, and CNN USA. As as an arts critic (National Critics Institute), he was with The Village Voice, the Dallas Times Herald, and the Tampa Tribune, now the Tampa Bay Times. He co-founded The Hot Sheet, a newsletter for authors, which now is owned and operated by Jane Friedman.