A generous grant from the Arts and Humanities Research Council’s Resource Enhancement Scheme funded this project. We are grateful to the AHRC for their vision and their support.

A project such as this involves teamwork of a special kind and incurs many and various debts. It is a pleasure to acknowledge here the generous co-operation of the libraries and collections that house Jane Austen’s fiction manuscripts and the enthusiasm of their curators and owners. Our requests have been treated with unfailing courtesy, interest, efficiency, and support. The list is long: Sir Peter Michael; the Bodleian Library, Oxford, and in particular (but by no means only) Bruce Barker-Benfield, Chris Fletcher, Andrew Honey, Richard Ovenden; the British Library, and in particular Scott McKendrick; the Morgan Library and Museum, and in particular Clara Drummond, Declan Keily, Christine Nelson, and Marilyn Palmeri; the Provost and Scholars, King’s College, Cambridge, and in particular Peter Jones; Anselm Nye, archivist at Queen Mary University of London. Bibliographic work on Jane Austen owes an immense debt to David Gilson whose comprehensive Bibliography of Jane Austen (corrected edition 1997) remains the starting point (and often the end point) of any serious research. Modern editors of the manuscripts can only ever supplement the pioneering work of R. W. Chapman whose editions began to appear in the 1920s and, extended by important editorial and critical work from Brian Southam, stand as reminders into the twenty-first century of how much was already achieved. John Davie, Margaret Anne Doody, and Douglas Murray re-edited the manuscript fiction for Oxford University Press in the 1980s and 1990s, and most recently, Linda Bree, Peter Sabor, and Janet Todd have offered new critical editions, as part of the Cambridge Edition of the Works of Jane Austen. In gratefully acknowledging debts to all the earlier editors and readers of Jane Austen’s text, the Jane Austen’s Fiction Manuscripts Digital Edition seeks to become one more voice in the conversation.