New Literary Maps of Charles Dickens and Sherlock Holmes

Check out two new new collections we launched this morning: Sherlock Holmes and Charles Dickens. Explore Victorian London of Oliver Twist or Edwin Drood or follow along in the footsteps of Holmes and Dr. Watson as they solve the curious case of the dog in the nighttime. The full press is release below.

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Placing Literature Launches Charles Dickens and Sherlock Holmes Collections

Readers, travelers and literary tourists can explore more than
600 places around Victorian London

NEW HAVEN, CONN., Oct. 13, 2016—Placing Literature (PlacingLiterature.com) today launched two literary maps from Victorian literature—Charles Dickens curated by the Dickens Society and Sherlock Holmes curated by Thomas Bruce Wheeler, author of The Mapped London of Sherlock Holmes. The interactive map allows readers to browse, visit and share the sites of famous (and not so famous) scenes from the Dickens and Arthur Conan Doyle canons.

Placing Literature is the global clearinghouse for location-based literary information, collecting crowdsourced information about books and the locations where they take place—and displaying them all on an interactive world map. Since launching in June 2013, readers, educators, librarians and authors have mapped more than 3,500 places from novels, short stories, poems and plays ranging from Shakespeare to Kerouac.

“A single location can evince layers upon layers of imaginaries as Placing Literature reveals,” said Tom Ue, a Victorian Literature scholar at the University of Toronto. “Taking a stroll along the Piccadilly of Victorian and Modernist writing, one may rub shoulders with the adventurer Lord Roxton or, just as likely, the gentleman thief A. J. Raffles. Placing Literature is a wonderful resource for exploring these very connections between literature and geography.”

“Please, Sir, I Want Some More”

ds-logoThe Dickens Society worked with its members around the world to map more than 100 locations from 12 Dickens novels, including Oliver Twist, David Copperfield, Pickwick Papers, Great Expectations, A Tale of Two Cities, Bleak House and Little Dorrit. Participants in the crowd-sourced project included admirers of the Victorian author from academic scholars at universities to voracious readers.

The collection will continue to be curated and updated by members of the Dickens Society in hopes of maintaining a live collection that researchers and readers can repeatedly visit to learn new insights into how the author used real places from his life in his stories. At the University of Sassari, Italy, Simonetta Falchi has even led a class of undergraduate students in mapping Oliver Twist as part of their studies, and several of Charles Dickens’ descendants are also involved with the project.

“Seeing this collection of Dickens sites on a virtual map gives you a sense of the incredible scope of Dickens’s fiction and his deep connection to place and space,” said Emily Bowles, Communications Committee Chair for the Dickens Society. “This is a fantastic resource for both academics and enthusiasts, and something our members will continue to build on.”

“Excellent!” I cried. “Elementary,” said he.

seated-sherlockThe Sherlock Holmes collection is made up of more than 400 locations identified by Thomas Bruce Wheeler in his ebook, The Mapped London of Sherlock Holmes. Wheeler also maintains an interactive Sherlock Holmes map at www.sherlockslondon.com that includes nine “In Sherlock’s and Watson’s footsteps” walking routes. The book and map also contain GPS addresses for walking instructions on smart phones. The book generates street-level photos of the 400 Sherlock Holmes locales. Created over the course of 20 years, the continually maintained map is useful to both casual fans of the great detective as well as serious Sherlockians.

“London, That Great Cesspool…”

Each place card on Placing Literature provides rich content about the book, the scene and the place where each plot point occurs. A place card near Saffron Hill indicates the location of Fagin’s Den in Oliver Twist. While nearby in the same neighborhood, Holmes and Dr. Watson speak with an inspector in The Adventure of the Six Napoleons. In White Chapel sits Princess Puffer’s opium den from the Mystery of Edwin Drood—a real parlor which Dickens and his friends would frequent. Right down the street is the home where Sherlock and Dr. Holmes retrieve a bloodhound named Toby in Sign of the Four.

On each card, visitors can view a photo of the location, search Google and Wikipedia for more information on the place, purchase the book from a local bookstore, write a review on Goodreads, share the place on social media, report an error and even check in, indicating that they’ve been to that particular location.

Placing Literature is on the lookout for additional collections of literary places and is putting out a request for data. Libraries, universities, cultural organizations and researchers should contact info@placingliterature.com if they have existing data or would like to work with Placing Literature to create content for local programming.

About Placing Literature

Placing Literature (PlacingLiterature.com) is a crowdsourcing website that maps literary scenes that take place in real locations. Map a scene from your favorite novel or explore the literature of a place at PlacingLiterature.com. Follow us at Facebook.com/PlacingLiterature and twitter.com/PlacingLit.

 

Tags: #PlacingLiterature, #literaryroadtrip, #maps, #literarymaps, #Dickens, #ArthurConanDoyle, #Sherlock, #OliverTwist, #Victorianliterature, #DickensSociety

 

Dylan Thomas Collection Gets Attention in Wales

The Dylan Thomas collection, curated by the Dylan Thomas Centre, has been getting all sorts of attention near the poet’s hometown of Swansea in Wales. Both the South Wales Evening Post and News.Wales have written about the collection of nearly 50 locations mentioned in the author’s poems, short stories and radio broadcasts.

With nearly 40 percent of our users living outside the U.S., Placing Literature is truly a global clearinghouse of geo-located literary information.

Hapus archwilio!

Placing Literature Launches Dylan Thomas Map

We’re honoring one of the greatest poets of the 20th Century with a new map of places from the Dylan Thomas canon. Thomas was one of the most influential writers of the 20th century and really kicked off the age of the literary rockstar, making appearances all over the world and embracing the new medium of radio. He was known as a master storyteller and produced several radioplays that he would perform live on the air. The Dylan Thomas Centre in Dylan’s hometown of Swansea is curating the collection for us.

 

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Placing Literature Launches Map of Places in Dylan Thomas Poems, Short Stories and Radio Broadcasts

The collection features more than 50 locations in Wales and is curated by the Dylan Thomas Centre in Swansea

 

NEW HAVEN, CONN., Feb. 2, 2016—Placing Literature (PlacingLiterature.com) today launched a literary map of Dylan Thomas poems set across Wales. Curated by the Dylan Thomas Centre in Swansea, the collection includes places that the Welsh poet wrote about in his poems and discussed in his popular radio broadcasts. The interactive map allows readers to browse, visit and share the sites of famous (and not so famous) scenes from the Thomas canon.

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Placing Literature is the global clearinghouse for location-based literary information, collecting crowdsourced information about books and the locations where they take place—and displaying them all on an interactive world map. Since launching in June 2013, readers, educators, librarians and authors have mapped more than 3,000 places from novels, short stories, poems and plays ranging from Shakespeare to Kerouac.

Swansea Council manages the Dylan Thomas Exhibition at the Dylan Thomas Centre in Swansea’s Maritime Quarter. The Council also has a team there who work on literature, outreach and educational programs to promote creative writing and share Dylan’s talents with people of all ages, abilities and backgrounds.

Cllr Robert Francis-Davies, Swansea Council’s Cabinet Member for Enterprise, Development and Regeneration, said: “Dylan Thomas has arguably done more than anyone else in history to put Swansea on the map over the years, so it’s a further boost for the city’s international profile that our most famous son is again being recognized in such an innovative and imaginative way. We look at a number of innovative ways to mark and promote our links with Dylan and projects like this help complement our strategy to preserve his legacy and celebrate his genius Our staff at the Dylan Thomas Centre have done a fantastic job in contributing to the map, which will educate people from across the world on how Swansea inspired the wordsmith, helping attract more virtual and physical visitors to Swansea in future.”

Each place card on Placing Literature provides rich content about the poem, the scene and the place where each plot point occurs. For example, you can click on markers on the map near Swansea to learn about Cwmdonkin Park where Dylan played as a child and memorialized in Reminiscences of Childhood and his radio play Return Journey. Nearby, Swansea Bay plays an important part in the poet’s first collection, 18 poems.

On each card, visitors can view a photo of the location, search Google and Wikipedia for more information on the place, purchase the book from a local bookstore, write a review on Goodreads, share the place on social media, report an error and even check in, indicating that they’ve been to that particular location.

Placing Literature plans to launch additional collections of literary places and is putting out a request for data. Libraries, universities, cultural organizations and researchers should contact info@placingliterature.com if they have existing data or would like to work with Placing Literature to create content for local programming.

About Placing Literature

Placing Literature (PlacingLiterature.com) is a crowdsourcing website that maps literary scenes that take place in real locations. Map a scene from your favorite novel or explore the literature of a place at PlacingLiterature.com. Follow us at Facebook.com/PlacingLiterature and twitter.com/PlacingLit.

About Dylan Thomas Centre

The Dylan Thomas Centre in Swansea is the focal point for exhibitions, studies and events on Dylan Thomas. Visit us at http://www.dylanthomas.com.

Tags: #PlacingLiterature, #literaryroadtrip, #maps, #literarymaps, #DylanThomas, #Swansea, #Wales, #Welshpoetry #poetry

 

Rhode Island on Placing Literature

Rhode Islanders, where are you? It’s time to show off the literary places in your part of the world. That may be coming true after the Rhode Island Library Association featured Placing Literature in its latest newsletter.

RILA

Placing Literature

By Megan Black
Research and Education Librarian, Providence College

I read The Time Traveler’s Wife my senior year of college. I was living in Chicago at the time where parts of the book takes place. I have a distinct memory of reading a passage that takes place in a bar on Belmont Ave and freaking out, “OH MY GOD, I know that place!!!” Subsequent passages took place on the street where I worked or other stomping grounds, and I was equally excited. There are other books where I had similar reactions due shared experience in a story’s setting. Those feelings of excitement and connectedness stay with me, long after I’ve forgotten plot details and characters.

Several years later I met Andrew Williams at his book reading in New Haven, CT. I loved that his book,  Learning to Haight , took place in real-life San Francisco, and we shared our love reading novels that transport the reader to real settings because it add that extra layer of connectedness. He told me about a project he and two friends were working on to map scenes from novels that take place in the real world.

The idea had come to him after mapping scenes from his own book using Google maps, “I had more than 1,000 views in 24 hours.” To get the project going, Andrew and his sister-in-law, Kathleen Colin Williams who is a PhD candidate in in the Department of Geography at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, applied for and received the Reintegrate Grant through the Arts Council of Greater New Haven in 2012. The funds are intended to encourage scientists and artists to collaborate on research projects. Andrew and Kathleen spent the next six months researching the role of place in novels that were set in New Haven, CT; San Francisco, CA; and Duluth, MN. Andrew’s friend Steven Young joined the group to create an online platform to map the books. They realized that they had created a unique project that was perfect for crowd-sourcing, and  Placing Literature was formally launched at New Haven, CT’s International Arts and Ideas Festival in 2013. Since then, more than 3,000 places have been mapped by readers, authors, and librarians.

The site has featured authors and allows users to explore the map by author, title, or place. It’s a great way to find literature that is set in a place you love or about to visit, or to map out travel destinations based on where your favorite author has set characters. Anyone with a Google login is able to add to the map.

There was only one place in Rhode Island mapped when I set out to write this article, which was the McFagan & McFagan Funeral Home from Waking the Merrow by Heather Rigney. There is a fair amount of literature that takes place in our beloved state, so I set out to add some additional places. I found two lists of books that take place in Rhode Island: Warwick Public Library’s “Fiction Set in RI”  list, and Quahog.org’s list of books.

I read  The Amazing Adventures of John Smith, Jr. aka Houdini by retired Providence College professor Peter Johnson (a delightful YA book if you’re interested). It takes place on the East Side, and while generic areas of Hope Street are mentioned, the zoo is the only specific place named that could be mapped.

It’s much easier to map locations after doing a location search from the “Explore” box at the top of the landing page. This way, you’re able to zoom in and move the pin if Google doesn’t originally place it in the right spot. Once you’re on the map page, click “Add Scene.” A pin will appear on the map, which you can drag to the exact location, and you’re prompted to fill out information about the scene: title; author; what happens in the scene; where the scene takes place; etc. Click submit, and your scene is added. If you make a mistake (like not moving the pin to the appropriate location, like I did…) you can send an email, and they respond fairly quickly.

Placing Literature also has various collections of mapped books that various groups have added (these can be found by clicking “Collections” (http://www.placingliterature.com/collections) at the bottom right portion of the page). My favorite is the collection curated by the Sherlock Holmes Society. The screenshot below is just a portion of everything mapped by the group.

Andrew, Kathleen, and Steven continue working to improve and promote Placing Literature. When I spoke to Andrew most recently, I asked him if he’d be interested in presenting on the project at libraries in Rhode Island. The short answer is yes, but the longer answer is much more interesting that a regular presentation. “I started an author speaking series at the New Haven Free Public Library called Get Lit in New Haven. A group of literary cartographers gets together to read and map a book set in New Haven. The author comes to do a reading and answer questions about setting a novel in the city. We had two events last year, and we are now going to do one per quarter,” and he said he’d love to work with RI librarians to help create similar programs here.

Placing Literature is an easy way to bring out the literary cartographer in all of us.

Placing Literature Adds Maine Locations

Maine collection includes works by Stephen King, E.B. White and Henry W. Longfellow as well as the 3,000th literary location mapped on the website by users around the world
 

NEW HAVEN, CONN., Feb. 2, 2016—Placing Literature (PlacingLiterature.com) today launched a literary map of Maine that allows readers to browse, visit and share the sites of famous (and not so famous) scenes from Maine literature. The data was sourced from the Maine Sunday Telegram (a part of MaineToday Media) and includes nearly 100 literary places from such authors as Henry W. Longfellow, Stephen King, E.B. White and Elizabeth Strout.

Placing Literature is the global clearinghouse for location-based literary information, collecting crowdsourced information about books and the locations where they take place—and displaying them all on an interactive world map. Since launching in June 2013, readers, educators, librarians and authors have mapped more than 3,000 places from novels, short stories, poems and plays ranging from Shakespeare to Kerouac.

Maine_070716“Maine is quintessentially American and has been the setting for some of the most-loved American novels,” said CEO and Co-Founder Andrew Bardin Williams. “The opportunity to virtually explore literary places gives readers a greater understanding of the books they are reading while enhancing people’s appreciation of the fabulous places in the great state of Maine.”

Each place card on Placing Literature provides rich content about the book, the scene and the place where each plot point occurs. For example, clicking on a marker near Penobscot reveals the farm where E.B. White set Charlotte’s Web. Across the state, you can explore the section of the Appalachian Trail where Red Sox fan Trisha McFarland gets lost in Stephen King’s The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon. Along the eastern border with Canada lies a marker for the former Houlton Army Air Base where nine-year-old Clare works side-by-side with German prisoner-of-wars in the potato harvest in Ethel Pochoki’s A Penny for a Hundred.

On each card, visitors can view a photo of the location, search Google and Wikipedia for more information on the place, purchase the book from a local bookstore, write a review on Goodreads, share the place on social media, report an error and even check in, indicating that they’ve been to that particular location.

The Literary Map of Maine was originally compiled by the Maine Sunday Telegram in partnership with several libraries and cultural organizations throughout the state in 2008. Readers submitted entries and an eight-member committee narrowed the selection to 50 places—which has since grown to 100 places. The paper has given permission to republish the literary places on PlacingLiterature.com.

Placing Literature plans to launch additional collections of literary places and is putting out a request for data. Libraries, universities, cultural organizations and researchers should contact info@placingliterature.com if they have existing data or would like to work with Placing Literature to create content for local programming.

 

About Placing Literature

Placing Literature (PlacingLiterature.com) is a crowdsourcing website that maps literary scenes that take place in real locations. Map a scene from your favorite novel or explore the literature of a place at PlacingLiterature.com. Follow us at Facebook.com/PlacingLiterature and twitter.com/PlacingLit.

Tags: #PlacingLiterature, #literaryroadtrip, #maps, #literarymaps, #Maine, #literaryMaine, #MaineSundayTelegram, #MaineToday

Guest Blog: Mapping In Leah’s Wake

Week-with-Placing-Literature-bIt’s Placing Literature Week on best-selling author Terri Giuliano Long’s blog. Teri will be sharing her thoughts about how place shapes literature, will be asking her readers to share their favorite literary places and will be giving away a $25 gift card to Amazon. Today, I authored a guest blog that talks about how Terri became involved with Placing Literature. Visit the site and check back throughout the week.

 

 

 

Placing Literature Passes 3,000 Literary Places Mapped

We passed an amazing milestone earlier this week with our 3,000th literary place mapped on PlacingLiterature.com. The place, Zuckerman’s barn from the children’s classic Charlotte’s Web, is part of our latest collection from the Maine Sunday Telegram. The collection of literary places from books set in Maine will be formally launched later this month.CharlottesWeb_060216

In the meantime, keep searching and mapping literary places around the world and share them on social media with your friends. Happy exploring!