Christina Rossetti In Music

Christina Rossetti in Music Project



The Christina Rossetti in Music Project

This project sets out to identify and catalogue all known musical settings of works by Victorian poet Christina Rossetti (1830-1894) and to assemble a digital archive of all extant and available musical scores. Consistently since at least 1864, composers have been setting Rossetti’s poetry to music, producing approximately 2000 musical compositions whose role in developing, extending, and sustaining Rossetti’s fame and popularity has gone largely unexamined, with the result that musical interpretations remain possibly the most critically neglected aspect of the reception and understanding of Rossetti’s work.

A deeper and wider study of musical interpretations of Rossetti’s poetry is called for, but information about this body of compositions is currently partial, scattered among a variety of catalogues and resources. Musical adaptations of Christina Rossetti’s writing constitute a field of inquiry that is rich with potential for further study, and this digital archive is being developed as a vital step toward establishing and facilitating an important new research field in Rossetti studies.

An Invitation

It is our hope that those who use this archive will also be motivated to contribute to its holdings. If you are aware of a composition that is not yet included in this website, or have access to a score that is not yet available here, please contact us. We welcome your contributions.

Project Team

Mary Arseneau, Ph.D., Professor, Department of English, University of Ottawa

Professor Arseneau is a Christina Rossetti scholar and the originator of the Christina Rossetti in Music project. Unless otherwise noted, Professor Arseneau is the author of all the commentary included in the Christina Rossetti in Music website.

Roxanne Lafleur, Digital Humanities Support Specialist, Research Support (Arts and Special Collections), University of Ottawa Library

Roxanne Lafleur has developed the cataloguing schema in this archive. Her expertise in both JSTOR Forum and Omeka has been invaluable for the Christina Rossetti in Music project; she is also a collaborator in the site's overall organization and design.

Jada Watson, Ph.D., M.I.S., Adjunct Professor in the School of Music, Coordinator of Digital Humanities, University of Ottawa

Professor Watson is an expert in musicology, description of musical works, broader socio-cultural institutional frameworks, data curation, and data-driven analysis.

Maura Ives, Ph.D., Professor and Chair, Department of English, Texas A&M University

Professor Ives is the leading authority in Christina Rossetti bibliography and a specialist in book history and nineteenth-century British literature, literary and cultural criticism, women’s writing, and digital humanities.

Research Assistants

Sarah Pennington and Emily McConkey have been invaluable in identifying, locating, digitizing, and cataloguing musical settings. They have also each contributed for inclusion in this website critical analysis of sets of musical settings.


This research is supported by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada.

Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada

Funding was also provided by a New Directions Grant from The Faculty of Arts Research and Publications Fund, University of Ottawa.


The Christina Rossetti in Music team very gratefully acknowledges the support and cooperation of the many composers who have generously granted permission to have their works included in this research site. 

The project team is grateful to the University of Ottawa Library for generously providing resources, expertise, and technical support.

We would like to thank numerous student researchers who have contributed to this archive. The cataloguer’s name is included in the catalogue entry for each musical setting.

The Technology

For pertinence and efficiency, a custom cataloguing schema and controlled vocabularies were created using JSTOR Forum, which enables the cataloguing of scores of the musical settings. Thanks to the robust nature of JSTOR Forum, we are able to limit the access to the project team and participating volunteer students. In order to publish JSTOR Forum records to the site, the JSTOR Forum schema was mapped to Dublin Core. Access to JSTOR Forum, the implementation of the site, and training using these tools have been provided by the University of Ottawa Library and Library staff. 


The Christina Rossetti in Music site is hosted in Canada at the University of Ottawa, and we aim to comply with Canadian copyright laws. If you believe this site has violated Canadian copyright law, please contact us.

Some resources available in this site are now in the public domain, while other resources included in the site are still currently protected by copyright. All restrictions governing fair use apply to materials under copyright. When a score is unavailable because protected by copyright, when possible we have included information indicating where a user might purchase the score from the composer or publisher.

Some materials still under copyright protection appear on this website by kind permission of the copyright holder. The copyright holder retains all rights. The Christina Rossetti in Music project owns no rights in any of the musical works included here. Any request for permissions or licensing rights must be addressed directly to the copyright holder of the individual work in question. Please consult the Rights field for individual items to learn more about a particular item's current copyright status. 

It is illegal to copy or distribute works that are protected by copyright. All site users are responsible to comply with the copyright laws in the country from which they access the Christina Rossetti in Music site. If your use of these materials goes beyond the allowed purposes or is not covered by Canadian copyright law, it is your responsibility to obtain permission from the copyright holder. 

The Christina Rossetti in Music project is strictly not for profit and intended for research and educational purposes only.