In 1662, the Parliament of England passed the Act of Uniformity - which required adherence to many rites and ceremonies prescribed in the Book of Common Prayer. One of the rites required was episcopal ordination for all ministers. In response, other Protestant religious communities established a number of dissenting academies, which were "intended to provide Protestant students dissenting from the Church of England with a higher education similar to that at Oxford and Cambridge, from which they were largely excluded." This digital humanities project, created by the Queen Mary Centre for Religion and Literature in English, allows visitors to learn more about these academies through an extensive database and encyclopedia of 220 academies that existed between 1660 and 1860. The database also includes thousands of individuals who were involved in the academy as tutors or students, including Joseph Priestley, John Dalton, and Thomas Malthus, among others. In addition, the project also offers a Virtual Library System, which allows visitors to explore the library catalogue of some dissenting academies and even check out the borrowing records of some famous individuals. This project provides additional insight to an important part of British history and will appeal to scholars of history and religion alike.
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