Orlando is a vital resource for faculty and students exploring women’s writing and its conditions of possibility. 

In this section, you’ll find tips for course planning, resources for students using Orlando, sample assignments, and students’ reflections about Orlando. It is not exhaustive, but offers varied options for finding generative material throughout the textbase.

This collection is growing! To contribute, please select Collaborate > Share a Resource > Teaching, via the footer menu on every page. We acknowledge and give credit to all contributors.

Course Planning

Period-Based Courses

Orlando’s feminist literary history spans 612 BCE to the present, with strengths in coverage from the seventeenth through the mid-twentieth centuries.

The Search box on the homepage is a good place to begin. Try searching for keywords related to your period, such as “Regency,”  “modernist lesbian,” or “Windrush.” Then, refine and/or navigate through the search results as you see fit.

You may wish to explore our in-depth accounts of the lives and writing of authors active during the period of your course. To do this from the homepage, start with one of the two Featured Authors or click on the Author profiles image in the Browse catalogue section. For information about people who are discussed in the textbase but do not have their own profiles, search Browse catalogue > People.

Use Timelines to delve into relationships among women’s writing and its complex historical environments. You can gather and refine collections of event entries, freestanding and embedded in authors' profiles, organized into several categories: Women writers, Writing climate, Political climate, and Social climate. Start by viewing the Today in Orlando section of the homepage, or click Browse Catalogue > Timelines, then explore its material via searches narrowed by dates or event descriptions.

Genre Courses

Women’s contributions to writing genres is one of Orlando’s central areas of interest. 

For accounts of the complexities of genre, including disputable generic allegiances or unusual generic mixtures, run a Tag Search on Genre Issue. To explore discussions of a specific genre across the textbase, run a Tag search on the Genre tag and the Genre Name attribute value(s) of your choice. Or you can do a general Search on a word or theme of interest and try faceting by one or more genre names.

Theme-based Courses

To draw on Orlando’s content about many different themes, search its tags. 

To determine which tags align with your course’s theme(s), explore the starburst diagrams in About the tags, which represent the chief tags in our semantic markup tagset. In our biographical material, we encode prose with our Life markup. In our material about authors’ bodies of work, we use our Writing tags, organized into three major categories: Production, Textual Features, and Reception.  

Next, run a tag search, whose results comprise sets of material from across the textbase that you’ll read through and refine according to your needs. Searches on the Theme or Topic tag will provide you with excerpts from Orlando’s discussions of manifold concepts and topics in texts. Other searches, such as ones on the tags Education (with attributes including Mode and attribute values Domestic, Institutional, and Self-Taught) or Manuscript History (no attributes) will offer more particular accounts of the concepts and topics that interest you.

For other theme-related material, use, for instance, the Organizations screen to search for accounts of how writers’ lives and texts are shaped by and capture creative, political, and social groups. 

Reading Lists

Use the Bibliography screen when compiling assigned readings for your course. Here, you’ll find lists of primary and secondary sources for all of Orlando’s material. 

For information about works by and about specific authors featured in your course, search their names in Author profiles then click on the Works Cited menu tab on their profile pages.


Browse our collection of individual Orlando-based assignments here. Designed primarily for undergraduate English and Gender Studies courses, they all enable students to sharpen their digital literacy and can be adapted for different disciplines, modes of course delivery, and levels of learning.

Orlando markup and literary history

In this assignment, students examine how Orlando’s semantic markup works with its prose to document the issues that are central to the project’s literary history.

Poets and poetry in digital media

This assignment challenges students to assess and juxtapose digital sources, both primary and secondary, with literary texts they study in depth.

Digital feminism

Students use this assignment to explore the public, digital life of feminism, with a focus on testing assumptions about accessibility and the representation of diverse genders and sexualities online.

Orlando and Related Digital Projects

If you’re developing a course that will examine interlinkages across digital projects, you may want to use Orlando together with projects with whom we have shared data:

Women Writers Online

The Stainforth Library of Women’s Writing

The Women’s Print History Project, 1750-1830

Mapping Victorian Literary Sociability

Resources for students

Use these materials to help all students engage with Orlando for individual assignments or courses.

About | Getting Started | Help

For detailed instructions and images about making the most of each Orlando page, click on About (header menu) from anywhere in the textbase. It will take you to Getting started, which provides users with an orientation to each part of the textbase. Or, for help with a specific page you’re on, click the question-mark button in its upper-right corner.

Students on Orlando

Read undergraduate students’ reflections about their experiences, as users and project members, with Orlando.

Brynn Lewis, “Searching for a new Orlando

Hannah Stewart, “A different kind of literary history”