Get Started

The Orlando textbase contains several main entry points and the paths users may take through it are innumerable. Here, you’ll find information about how to navigate each page in ways that suit you.

Orlando is an inclusive feminist literary history that employs narrative as a still powerful and relevant tool for representing relationships, causalities, and developments. These narratives are multiple, parallel, and partial rather than continuous and singular. 

Its structured text means that its material is systematically interrelated and can be probed, traversed, and grouped in sophisticated ways. It foregrounds myriad links among authors, their historical moments, and the varied times in which their writing is published and read. 

Using a combination of text markup and databasing, Orlando reshuffles and sorts its prose into excerpts, always offering the option to read an excerpt in its original context. Dynamic text retrieval provides on-the-fly results catering both to directed inquiries and general exploratory browsing. It invites engagement with literary history in sundry ways, for example through periods, genres, locales, or themes.

For an in-depth discussion of Orlando as feminist digital scholarship, read the Preface and Introduction. For help with trouble-shooting and answers to questions about how Orlando is produced and used, see its FAQs.


Orlando’s homepage offers quick and easy access to the textbase.

The header menu bar is at the top of this page and all others. About leads to pages introducing the Orlando Project’s digital approach to literary history, teaching resources, and team; responses to the textbase; and information about terms of use and privacy. Browse takes you to the catalogue of searchable categories of Orlando material. Explore takes you to randomized material from across the textbase. Exhibit leads to Orlando’s collection of portrait and manuscript images shared by community members. Tag search enables you to collect and navigate material contained in our unique feminist literary-historical markup.

Next, the Search Orlando textbase bar enables you to get started by typing one or more keywords and exploring the results, which can be refined according to your interests. Boolean operators cannot be used here but a phrase such as “social media” can.

The Featured authors section foregrounds selected author profiles.

In the Browse catalogue section, click on any one of the images to explore our material about the category it represents; to see them all at once, click View all categories.

On or about today in Orlando highlights events: short accounts of occurrences in the lives and careers of Women writers, or the Writing climate, Political climate, and Social climate in which they wrote. 

The footer menu appears throughout the site. Accessibility offers information about how the site meets the needs of its users. For information about subscribing to Orlando, click Request a Trial (institutions only) or Subscribe. Choose Collaborate to connect with our team. Terms of Use outlines conditions for use including downloading. Accessibility offers information about how the site meets the needs of its users.

Join us online: buttons for our Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube accounts are included on the bottom-right corner of every page.


This section offers detailed information about varied aspects of the Orlando textbase and the team responsible for its development. 

Read the Preface (2022) and Introduction (2006)to the Orlando Project’s feminist, literary-historical objectives and dialogues

Getting Started provides short guides to each page

Learn About the Tags that structure the textbase’s content and searchability

Explore Teaching With Orlando’s resources for instructors and students

Read Responses for reviews and studies of Orlando by third-party authors.

Read Credits and Acknowledgements for the many and varied contributions to Orlando


This page points to pages for targeted investigation of Orlando material according to its central categories. 

Hover over the images for information about the categories and click on the tiles to access them.


This page provides an array of varied material from across Orlando. It comprises sets of cards, with each one leading to content from a category in the Orlando catalogue.

Clicking the Load More button at the bottom of the page will add more randomized content.


Explore and filter results of Orlando searches here. The number of results yielded is noted at the top left of the central pane. 

To the right, the Sort by menu offers options for organizing results by relevance (the number of times a term appears in profiles, events, entities, and bibliographic records), alphabetical order, or chronological order. Note that for undated author information the chronological order results in a rough sort based on authors’ birth dates.

Search results are displayed in the central pane, and appear slightly different, depending on the type of material. Results from author profiles are prioritized, then freestanding events, and then person, organization, and bibliographic entries.

Expand results by clicking on the ellipsis icon indicating that more content can be shown within the results. Click again to hide it.

See results in context by hovering over it and then clicking on the result. 

Follow connections by linking to names of people or organizations mentioned within the results.

Go to the source of a result by clicking on the underlined title at the top of the result, to go to the author profile, person, organization or event from which it comes. Bibliographic results are not clickable.

If a “hit” is not indicated by a highlight, this is because the match is being made to something in the markup that is not visible on the page, such as a citation, note, or the standard version of a name or place. Results are displayed more than once when there are multiple matches within the same span of text.

Refine with facets

The Refine panel offers powerful options for narrowing a search in multiple categories, such as genres of writing, authors’ nationalities and genders, historical periods, and tags used to contain search terms (for more information about Orlando’s encoding, explore About the Tags). 

The Refine panel shows you in advance the number of results associated with a particular facet in advance, and you can add and remove specific facets iteratively as you pursue your inquiries.

Retain your facets by using the text box on the Refine panel to launch a new search (which can be very useful if you want period-specific results, for instance), or clear your facets to start anew.

Note that faceting works differently with a regular Search than with Tag Search. 

Search results can be narrowed by 1) Result types; 2) Author characteristics such as Nationality or the historical Periods with which their lives overlapped, or the Genres in which they wrote; 3) the Tag context in which the search term occurs, so, for instance, we can discover by switching Tag facets that smallpox mentions occur about the same number of times in the Health tag and the Family tag, and also occur within the Theme or Topic tag; or 4) by Locations associated with the author, for which there is immediate feedback when you begin to type in a place name.


The semantic tags that organize and contextualize the content are at the heart of Orlando. All Orlando documents are richly encoded with XML tags (many with attributes and attribute values) that represent key issues in feminist literary history. They capture prose that can be extracted from its original contexts (such as an author profile or an event entry) and included in results lists or collections that still enable you to return to those contexts. For inspiration and guidance, explore About the Tags and this essay about our markup. Note, too, that Orlando’s tagging is visible when you click the Show Tag Context and Show Markup buttons on many pages in the textbase.

Some tags have attributes (narrower properties) on which you can search, and sometimes those attributes have specific values from which to choose.

You can begin a tag search by searching on a tag without specifying a term, and then specify a term in the Refine panel, after looking at the initial results.

If you have chosen a term on which to search, you can modify that term within the results screen, without having to restart your Tag Search. 

Facet tag searches using the Refine panel.

Note that Tag Facets work differently with Tag Search than with regular Search. 

Tag facets allow you to filter Search results by including or excluding one or more tag contexts. 

Tag Search results look instead for combinations of the tags your search specified with the faceted Tag, and result in a greater narrowing of results.

A regular search starts broad, looking for a match or close match to the word or words entered into the search box. Faceting then narrows down the results by looking for instances of those words within the parameters of the facet, if that facet draws on a tag (e.g. Genre, Nationality). For instance, a search for ‘smallpox’ will yield more than 200 results of smallpox captured in different tags across the textbase, which can then be narrowed by Result types, Author characteristics, Tag contexts in which the result is found, and specific Locations associated with authors. 

A Tag Search targets a specific tag from the outset, with or without a search term, and provides results from across the textbase that match the specific criteria (the tag alone, or the tag + search term). Faceting then looks for a co-occurence of the search criteria with the Tag selected in the facet. That is, the term and/or tag specified in the Tag facet needs to be inside the Tag specified in the initial search.

A tag search on ‘smallpox’ within the tag Health will provide you with more than 30 results that can be narrowed, as with the regular search, by Result types, Author characteristics, and specific Locations associated with authors. Using the Refine panel to facet on the Cause of death Tag will reveal the handful of writers who died of the disease. Faceting on tags in which the word “smallpox” does not occur will yield no results.

To modify Tag Search criteria, you can clear all filters or return to Tag Search.


Profiles represent individual writers’ roles within literary history, with accounts of their lives and then their bodies of writing. Read them as individual texts and/or use the linked words within them as springboards to other areas of Orlando. To view citations, click on the double quotation mark icons found throughout.

Use the tabs at the top of each page to explore other sections: Timeline, Connections, and Bibliography. On the footer menu, you’ll see a link to instructions to help you Cite Orlando profiles or other components of the textabase. Show Markup to see how its prose and tags work together, and Export it for use in other formats.

The Highlights panel on the left side of the page lists the headings used to introduce pivotal issues and moments throughout the profile. Click on any one to move to its section. Click the carets beside the Biography and Writing headings to collapse or expand those sections. 

Profiles begin with a summary of key aspects of the writer’s career, such as principal influences and intertextuality, generic range, and reputation, then offer more in-depth accounts of their works and lives, organized chronologically and by genre.

See the Milestones section for short statements about the author’s birth, death, first literary activities, and landmark publications.


A profile timeline comprises a collection of short, dated assertions about key moments in its author’s career and life, drawn from the profile page and any freestanding Orlando events in which the author is tagged. Each event’s type (Women writers, Writing climate, Social climate, and Political climate) is indicated by its icon. Events can be sorted in chronological or reverse-chronological order using the menu on the right of the page. To filter results by type and textbase location, use the collapsible Refine panel on the left.


An author’s Connections page offers a list of the relationships between its subject and other authors, as reflected in those other authors’ profiles, categorized by the Orlando’s tags in which they are captured and including excerpts of the passages in which they are discussed. 


Each profile’s bibliography lists sources cited in the profile. Consult the textbase’s bibliography for authors’ works not cited in profiles, and remember that Orlando offers selective, rather than comprehensive, bibliographies of authors.


At the core of Orlando’s original scholarship, profiles offer accounts of individual writers’ lives and bodies of work within our feminist literary history. To access the profile that interests you, use the alphabetical index on the top of the screen, or scroll down this page and click on your chosen author’s image or name. To narrow your search quickly, enter all or part of the author’s name in the search box on the upper-right corner of this page.


Here you’ll find a list of all people tagged in the textbase, organized alphabetically by surname or title. Clicking on a person’s name will take you to their entity page, which includes such features as dates of birth and death, names and titles used, select bibliographies, images, links to author profiles, and information about their relationships with authors who have profiles, where applicable. The pages’ length and content vary according to the depth of Orlando’s material about each subject. Note that this area of the textbase is more than 700 pages long. You can narrow your search by using the alphabetical index or entering all or part of a person’s name in the search box on the upper-right corner of this page.


This category comprises all literary, political, and social organizations tagged in Orlando, available via alphabetical index and the search box on the upper-right corner of the page. Clicking on an organization’s name will take you to its Connections page: a list of the relationships between its subject and other authors with profiles, categorized by the Orlando’s tags in which they are captured and including excerpts of the passages in which they are discussed. 


Here you’ll find the full list of works cited across the textbase, searchable via the index at the top of the screen and the search box in its upper-right corner. 


Timelines enables you to explore and create collections of Orlando’s event entries, short accounts of important moments in and relevant to literary history. Some (beginning with the phrase ‘Author event’) are extracted from author profiles; others are freestanding. The icon beside each entry indicates its event type, or immediate context: Women writers, Writing climate, Political climate, or Social climate. Get started by entering date information (e.g. 2 February 1922) and/or keywords (including proper names, such as Sylvia Beach), then click on any of the results for the full freestanding event entry or section of the author profile from which it’s taken.


This area features visual material shared by researchers and collectors in the Orlando community. Click on any thumbnail image to view it in full and read information provided by its contributor. Click on an author’s name to go to the profile with which an image is associated.