The Digital Temple: A Documentary Edition of George Herbert’s English Verse, an online scholarly resource annotated by Dr. Christopher Hodgkins, a professor of English at UNCG, and Dr. Robert Whalen from Northern Michigan University, has been selected by Choice Magazine as a 2013 Outstanding Academic Title. The Choice reviewer called the Digital Temple “quite simply an amazing piece of scholarship.”

Herbert, a Welsh-born poet and Anglican priest, lived from 1593-1633. After years of tedious work, Hodgkins and Whalen threw open the doors to their Digital Temple, published through the Rotunda Portal of the University of Virginia Press, in early 2013. By subscribing, scholars and lay readers can access ultra-high-quality, searchable reproductions of two surviving manuscripts and a first edition of “The Temple,” a collection of poems by Herbert.

Jackson Library has one of the world’s largest Herbert collections thanks to Dr. Amy Charles, a Herbert biographer and scholar who taught at UNCG from 1954 until her retirement in 1985. In 2010, the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) gave Hodgkins and Whalen a $250,000 Digital Humanities Scholarly Editions Grant to make Herbert’s works available online.

“There’s no substitute for holding the book in your hand, feeling the pages, smelling the pages,” Hodgkins said. “The idea is not to replace a paper archive, but to make it possible to give thousands, tens of thousands, even millions of people over the years, access to these materials.”