The Consortium on Electronic Literature (CELL) is an open access, non-commercial resource offering centralized access to literary databases, archives, and institutional programs in the literary arts and humanities scholarship. At its launch in May 2015, CELL included 10 research groups and has been designed to allow for the integration of many more.
To the degree that inclusion in a database is now the publishing event and the life of a literary work is defined through a trail of linked commentaries and active responses, the gathering and identification of works becomes itself a creative and scholarly activity. The need arises not only to archive works but also to map their location and access the discussion around works. The Consortium on Electronic Literature (CELL) came together for this purpose – to better identify works as literary and make the evolving field of born (and genetically) digital writing visible on a global scale.
We intend not to separate the work from its scholarly/critical reception as was the case with the printed book; nor do we wish to enclose works under moving wall subscription models. The tracking of literary works that themselves change over time and across formats is done within and across member databases by literary artists, scholars, and a general readership that is created, not targeted.