About At the Circulating Library


At the Circulating Library (ATCL) was created by Troy J. Bassett, associate professor of English and Linguistics at Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne (IPFW), to provide biographical and bibliographical data about the countless authors, publishers, and novels of the Victorian period (1837-1901). It has been greatly inspired by the two bibliographical websites British Fiction 1800-1829 and The English Novel, 1830-36. ATCL aims to continue where these two predecessors end. In addition, the website draws heavily on John Sutherland's brilliant and indispensable book The Stanford Companion to Victorian Fiction as a model for its entries.

The beta version of the website appeared in summer 2007 with a test database of approximately 1700 titles. In 2008, the database began including serialization information. As of September 2009, the database accounted for all of the three-volume novels published during the Victorian period. As of October 2010, the database accounted for all of the two- and four-volume novels published during the Victorian period. In January 2014 the database surpassed 10,000 title entries. In January 2015 the database included serializations from over 200 periodicals. In May 2017 the database surpassed 14,000 title entries. Currently, more title and serialization information is being added.


The project has been funded by:

  • IPFW IRSC Course Release Grant (2016)
  • RSVP Curran Fellowship (2014)
  • Purdue Research Foundation Summer Faculty Research Grant (2012)
  • National Endowment of the Humanities Summer Stipend (2010)
  • The Bibliographical Society Fredson Bowers Award (2010)
  • IPFW Summer Faculty Research Grant (2008)

A special thank you to Patrick Leary who generously hosts ATCL at his website Victoria Research Web. I would also like to thank the following individuals for their corrections, help, and support: John Addy, Jonathan Arnold, Allison Belzer, Derrick Brown, Glenda Browne, Christopher Bryant, Bill Bryson, Valerie M. Buck, Turtle Bunbury, Martha Burgin, Mike Clark, Philip Cohen, Mimi Collegian, Jen R. Crowell, Chris Curling, Sara R. Danger, Michael Demy-Geroe, Tony Drewry, Carl Drummond, Simon Eliot, Dorice Williams Elliott, Sue Etherington, David Finkelstein, Judith Gardiner, Peter Garside, Rowan Gibbs, Katherine D. Harris, Sally, Harrower, John Heap, Dorothy O. Helly, John Henderson, John Herrington, Clare Horrocks, Linda K. Hughes, Naomi Hunt, Alan John, Andrew King, Linda King, Andrew Kopec, Christina Kreeger, Graham Law, Martin Laverty, Patrick Leary, Timothy Leonard, Marie Leger-St.-Jean, Christopher Lennon, Kirsten Macleod, Anthony Mandal, Charlotte Mitchell, John C. Moran, David J. Murnaghan, Robert L. Patten, Jennifer Phegley, Catherine Pope, Susan Priestley, Jonathan Rose, Matthew Rubery, Stephan Rudolf, Jennifer Scott, Patrick Scott, Jennifer Sonner, Patrick Spedding, Ana Squire, Michael Stapleton, John Sutherland, Grant Thompson, Colin Wallace, Daphne Wing, Laurence Worms, and Brian Youmans.

In addition, I would like to thank the staff of the following libraries for their help: Allen County Public Library, the British Library, the Harry Ransom Center at the University of Texas, Indiana University Library, the National Library of Scotland, the University of Cambridge Library, the University of Illinois Special Collections, and the University of Reading Special Collections.


If you would like to contribute corrections, data entry, author biographies, publisher biographies, title summaries, or serialization information, please contact Troy J. Bassett (bassettt@ipfw.edu).

How to Cite

Bassett, Troy J. At the Circulating Library: A Database of Victorian Fiction, 1837-1901. [date of update]. Victorian Research Web. [date of access] (http://www.victorianresearch.org/atcl).

About the Illustration

The illustration is a detail from "Light Reading with a Vengeance" which appeared in the 27 January 1877 issue of Punch, found on-line at The Victorian Web.

Technical Notes

This website was written on a Macintosh using a MySQL database and PHP.