e-Lit Resource
Electronic Literature Collection Volume 1

Published in October of 2006, the first volume of the ELO’s Electronic Literature Collection anthologizes sixty representative and various works of electronic literature and digital poetry. The collection was selected and edited by four editors: N. Katherine Hayles, Nick Montfort, Scott Rettberg, and Stephanie Strickland. The first major anthology with the designation "electronic literature," ELC Vol. 1 contains many vital and pioneering works by eliterature mainstays such as M. D. Coverley, Maria Mencia, J. R. Carpenter, Deena Larsen, Robert Kendall, John Cayley, Michael Joyce, and Shelley Jackson.

A CD-ROM having identical contents was published along with the online collection so that the Volume might “reach the broadest audience possible and to provide for reading, classroom use, sharing, and reference on and off the network” ELC Vol. 1 About page). Many of the works collected in this first iteration of the ELC are now considered to be foundational works in their genre, or of electronic literature writ large.

The collection is available to view and navigate in four different formats. First, the main index presents the texts by way of hyperlinked thumbnail graphics. The works are also sorted variously by author and title alphabetically, and then categorized by keywords which are also defined on the keyword index page. This keyword index page, while not exhaustive, is one of the first glossary-style pages looking to define the major terms of e-literary study—for example: kinetic, CAVE, codework, installation, hypertext—for ease of scholarship.

The keyword page continues to be a useful resource for defining and clarifying eliterary terms. This keyword feature anticipated a current, continuing and community built "Thesaurus of Electronic Literature," whose entries can be found in the present ELD "Glossary." Additionally, the keyword feature is also a good way to demonstrate how varied the ELC Vol. 1 proved to be in its representation e-lit formats and styles. Later volumes of the ELC would maintain this keyword feature alongside the title and author sorting. The ELC Vol. 3 would add country and language to its indexing pages to encourage the study and reading of eliterary works produced in languages other than English, and in countries outside of the Western tradition.

A useful list of the collected works is also available on the ELMCIP page for the ELC Vol. 1, found here.