Electronic Databases

The Brownings: A Research Guide is a freely available, comprehensive and fully annotated online research tool that facilitates the study of the works and lives of Robert and Elizabeth Barrett Browning and their circle.

The online Guide lists, in traditional bibliographical formats, all known Browning-related material--some 70,000 items--and draws on the Browning collection in the Armstrong Browning Library as well as other collections from around the world. It includes checklists of the Brownings' correspondence; a catalogue of their possessions: the poets' library, first works, presentation volumes, manuscripts, likenesses, works of art, household and personal effects, and other association items; contemporary reviews of their works; secondary source material relating to the Brownings (which are called supporting documents); and an unannotated bibliography of printed works that includes the Brownings' own writings as well as reference works, biographies, and criticism relating to the Brownings.

The Guide includes two components that focus on members of the Brownings' circle.

    Lady Layard's Journal is an archive of notes and observations by Enid, Lady Layard (1843 - 1912). She was a good friend to Browning in his later years, and her journal contains significant amounts of recollections and reminiscences relating to the poet and other leading figures of the day.

    The Joseph Milsand Archive provides a checklist of Milsand's correspondence and a catalogue of his collections. Joseph Antoine Milsand (1817 - 1886) was introduced to the Brownings in 1851 and came to be Browning's closest friend.


The Baylor University Libraries' online catalog, can be searched to find all of the books, music scores, audio/visual material, and many of the periodicals located in the Armstrong Browning Library. BearCat terminals are located on the Library's main (second) floor and in the Belew Scholars' Room.

ABL Research Tools, an in-house database

ABL Research Tools is a Browning-related database available only in the Armstrong Browning Library. Students, scholars, and library staff use the database to access transcripts and printed materials by way of various search and report routines. The database is also useful to scholars with a wider literary or historical interest in the 19th century, given that the Brownings associated and corresponded with many other prominent figures of their day.

The database contains the following information:
  • A checklist of the Brownings' correspondence searchable by date, author, recipient, publication, or manuscript location.
  • The full text of extant Browning letters, searchable by keyword(s).
  • A checklist of supporting documents, consisting primarily of letters addressed to Barrett and Browning family members or letters in which the poets are mentioned.
  • Full text of supporting documents, the originals of which are in ABL's holdings, searchable by keyword(s).
  • A checklist of contemporary reviews of the Brownings' works, searchable by date, publication, work, or reviewer.
  • Full text of all known contemporary reviews, searchable by keyword(s).
The database was installed at the Armstrong Browning Library in January 1998 and is updated daily. It was developed, and is maintained, by Wedgestone Press as a research tool to support The Brownings' Correspondence, a projected 40-volume edition of the poets' letters.

For an appointment to use the database, contact Rita Patteson, Director and Curator of Manuscripts, at 254.710.4967.