December 2014 | Nate Pedersen

Goucher College Launches Crowdfunding Campaign to Digitize Jane Austen Novel

2015 will mark the bicentennial of the publication of Jane Austen's novel Emma. To celebrate that anniversary, Goucher College in Baltimore - home to the largest Austen collection in North America - hopes to digitize its copy of the extremely rare 1816 Philadelphia edition of Emma.  That edition was the first - and only - American publication of Austen's work during her lifetime. Only six copies are known to have survived.

Goucher College wants to digitize its copy and make it freely available as an open-access edition online. Scholars, students - and Austen enthusiasts - from across the world will be able to view the rare book in its entirety.  Goucher also has plans to add contextual materials and create an interactive experience for readers.

The college library needs $70,000 to digitize the novel with the Conservation Center for Art and Historic Artifacts in Philadelphia. Of that $70k, $30,000 has already been raised.  Goucher hopes to source the rest through a crowdfunding campaign launched on Razoo. Visit the campaign's website to learn more or contribute.

[Image from the Razoo campaign]