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FitzGerald and Ouseley databases now available online

March 1, 2019

In the course of our research into various aspects of the Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam and its interpretation, we (Bill Martin and Sandra Mason) have created a number of databases containing our key research material.  This has allowed us to search and analyse the material more easily and effectively.  The results of the analyses have been presented in various books and articles over the past 10 years, notably The Art of Omar Khayyam (I B Tauris, 2007), Edward FitzGerald’s Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam (Anthem Press, 2011), The Man behind the Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam:  the Life and Letters of Edward FitzGerald (I B Tauris, 2016) and The Ouseley brothers and their journey to Persia 1810-15 (Leisure Consultants, 2018).

It has always been our intention to make these research data available to anyone interested on a public access basis.  This we have now been able to do using the Zenodo storage facility, which  provides open and easy access and storage of data for the long term, run under the auspices of the European Community’s open data policy.  For more information about Zenodo, see .

Our basic data on the publication and interpretation of the Rubaiyat were lodged on Zenodo in November 2018, and information about the nature of the data and how to access them was given in an earlier post – see .  These files have now been joined by the dasebases from our work on Edward FitzGerald and the Ouseley brothers.

The FitzGerald data are to be found under a general ‘community’ heading of Edward FitzGerald Life and Letters – Martin and Mason archive.  This is accessed via .  The introductory page gives access to the following sets of material.

  • All letters – files providing an overview of information relating to all the published letters of Edward FitzGerald contained in the collection published by A M Terhune and A B Terhune in 1980 – see reference below.
  • Writing and reading – files analysing information in FitzGerald’s letters relating to his writing and reading.
  • The arts – files analysing information in FitzGerald’s letters relating to theatre, music, pictures and artworks.
  • Family and friends – files analysing information in FitzGerald’s letters relating to his family and friends.
  • Other interests and views – files analysing information in FitzGerald’s letters relating to his travel, leisure activities, and views on current affairs, religion and other topics
  • Books and other material – files listing available information on his personal library of books and on the books and other material of his held in certain libraries.

William and Gore Ouseley

For the Ouseley data, the community heading is Ouseley Mission to Persia 1810-15 Martin and Mason Archive.  This is accessed via  The introductory page gives access to the following sets of material.

  • ousjourney – database with details of the Ouseley mission to Persia taken from the four reports by participants in the mission (referenced below).
  • ouspeople – database with information on members of Ouseley mission and other people of significance in the analysis.
  • ousref­ – database with listing of books and articles referred to in the course of research on the Ouseley mission.
  • ouscollect – database with summary information on the manuscripts collected by the Ouseley brothers that are now held in the Bodleian library in Oxford.
  • ousreport – copy of our report on The Ouseley brothers and their journey to Persia 1810-15 (referenced below).

Each of these sets of material contains searchable databases in different formats plus explanatory README text files.  As indicated in the latter, the databases were produced as working documents, and the level of detail shown in many fields varies, and no attempt has been made to correct for this unevenness or for minor typographical errors.  Where the material was used in our published report, it was corrected further.  But we hope that the information, such as it is, will be a useful resource for other researchers in this area.

One final point, which we repeat from our earlier post.  A special feature of Zenodo is the creation of ‘communities’ which bring together a number of different sets of data on a broad topic area or project.  These data can be uploaded from different sources.  So if anyone else wishes, it would be possible for their data sets on the Rubaiyat, FitzGerald or the Ouseley brothers to be archived under the general community headings that we have used.  If you are interested in exploring this possibility, please get in touch with us, either directly or via this blog.

One Comment leave one →
  1. March 1, 2019 10:55 pm

    What a great achievement! I look forward to using the archive and hope it won't be too difficult to learn. Congratulations and thank you.

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