Bentham Project


Research Tools

Transcribe Bentham

Transcribe Bentham is a double award-winning collaborative transcription initiative, which affords a unique opportunity to join a community of volunteers in exploring and transcribing Bentham's unpublished manuscripts.

Contributors to Transcribe Bentham support cutting-edge scholarship, with the transcripts that they provide forming the basis of future volumes of The Collected Works of Jeremy Bentham. Each volunteer whose transcripts are utilised in the creation of Collected Works volumes is thanked by name in the preface of each work. 

As well as providing the unique opportunity to help transcribe previously unknown manuscript material in the hand of Bentham or in the hands of his amanuenses and correspondents, Transcribe Bentham is an invaluable tool for viewing digital images of the Bentham Papers held by both UCL Special Collections and the British Library and can be searched for key words and phrases. Users may also select material by time period, difficulty, and subject matter.   

Bentham Manuscripts Digital Collection

The vast collection of Bentham manuscripts held by UCL Special Collections are of outstanding international historical and philosophical importance.

Digital versions of some of these manuscripts—including high-resolution images as well as transcripts—are hosted at a dedicated, open-access online repository.

Bentham Papers Database

The Bentham Papers Database, compiled by Dr Deborah McVea and supported by a grant from the AHRC, provides the most comprehensive online finding tool for Bentham manuscripts. UCL's entire collection can be searched by heading, date, category, title, or even penner.

Bentham Keyword Spotting

Thanks to a collaboration with the PRHLT Research Center at the Universitat Politècnica de València as part of the READ project, it is now possible to search 90,000 images of Bentham's manuscripts using cutting-edge Handwritten Text Recognition technology.  

The Works of Jeremy Bentham

The principal aim of the Bentham Project is to publish a new edition of The Collected Works of Jeremy Bentham to supersede the poorly edited and incomplete The Works of Jeremy Bentham, published in 1838–43 under the editorship of Sir John Bowring. Until the completion of the Collected Works, the Bowring edition will still be useful as a point of reference. All eleven volumes of the Bowring edition are available to view for free online via the Online Library of Liberty.

Printed Catalogues

  • A Bibliographical Catalogue of the Works of Jeremy Bentham, Chuo University Library, Tokyo, 1989.
  • Catalogue of the Manuscripts of Jeremy Bentham in the Library of University College, London, 2nd edn., ed. A. Taylor Milne, London, 1962. 

Bentham Bibliography

The Bentham Project has compiled an extensive bibliography of Bentham-related secondary literature, including monographs, academic journal articles, and theses. These can be browsed both by type and by author's initials. 

Journal of Bentham Studies

The Journal of Bentham Studies is the Bentham Project's dedicated academic journal for all things Bentham-related. It aims to provide a forum for debate and discussion for all aspects of Bentham studies and utilitarianism. It is an Open Access journal, available under Creative Commons licensing. Contributions and enquiries should be directed to Dr Chris Riley (c.riley@ucl.ac.uk).

The Bentham Newsletter

The Bentham Newsletter was replaced by Utilitas in May 1989. Scanned .pdf versions of the Newsletter, from 1978 to 1988, are available to download below.

Number 1, May 1978.

  • L.J. Hume, Revisionism in Bentham Studies.
  • J.H. Burns, Dreams and Destinations.
  • J.R. Dinwiddy, A Report on the Project.
  • P. Schwartz, A Report on the Editorial Work in Progress.
  • D. Jackson and D. Lieberman, Bentham Bibliography – Part I.

Number 2, March 1979.

  • A. Goldsworth, Bentham on the measurement of Subjective States.
  • A.D.E. Lewis, John Austin (1790-1859): Pupil of Bentham.
  • J.R. Dinwiddy, Bentham's Letters to John Herbert Koe.
  • F. Rosen, The Constitutional Code: The New Version.

Number 3, December 1979.

  • S. Hollander, The role of Bentham in the early development of Ricardian theory.
  • L.J. Hume, Bentham's theory of fictions.
  • W. Roberts, Bentham's poor law proposals.
  • F. Rosen, Bentham on democratic theory.

Number 4, May 1980.

  • J.R. Dinwiddy, The Bentham Project, 1978–80.
  • J. Steintrager, Language and Politics: Bentham on Religion.
  • A.T. Milne, The Correspondence of Jeremy Bentham, 1788–97.
  • M. James, Work in Progress: Bentham's Political Writings 1788–95.
  • T. Ball, Was Bentham a Feminist?
  • L. Campos Boralevi, In Defence of a Myth.
  • T. Ball, Bentham No Feminist: A Reply to Boralevi.

Number 5, May 1981.

  • E.J. Eisenach, The Dimension of History in Bentham's Theory of Law.
  • A. de Avila-Martel, The Influence of Bentham on the Teaching of Penal Law in Chile.
  • T.L. McKennan, Benthamism in Santander's Colombia.
  • A-E. Perez Luno, Jeremy Bentham and Legal Education in the University of Salamanca during the Nineteenth Century.
  • F. Rosen, Bentham's Letters and Manuscripts in Greece.

Number 6, May 1982.

  • M. James, Bentham on Voter Rationality.
  • E. Schoorl, Bentham, Say and Continental Utilitarianism.
  • I. Christie, A Possible Location of Missing Letters of Jeremy Bentham.
  • M.J. Smith, The Papers of Jeremy Bentham in the United States of America.
  • I. Doolittle, Jeremy Bentham and Blackstone's Lectures.
  • L.J. Hume, Work in Progress: Numbers II and III of The Constitutional Code.

Number 7, May 1983.

  • D.D. Raphael, Bentham and the Varieties of Utilitarianism.
  • J.M. Robson, Which Bentham was Mill's Bentham?
  • R. Harrison, The People is my Caesar.
  • P. Jones, The Museum is Welcome to Them - if not Let them be Burnt.

Number 8, June 1984.

  • J.H. Burns, Jeremy Bentham: From Radical Enlightenment to Philosophic Radicalism.
  • J.R. Dinwiddy, Bentham and the Early Nineteenth Century.
  • W.L. Twining, Why Bentham?

Number 9, June 1985.

  • D. Lieberman, Bentham's Digest.
  • J.E. Crimmins, Bentham's Religious Writings: A Bibliographic Chronology.
  • P.M. Kitromilides, Jeremy Bentham and Admantios Korais.
  • F. Rosen, A Note on Bentham and Korais.

Number 10, June 1986.

  • M. James, Bentham's Democratic Theory at the time of the French Revolution.
  • I.R. Christie, Jeremy Bentham and Prince Potemkin.
  • R. Richardson, Bentham and `Bodies for Dissection'.
  • W.L. Twining, Bentham's Writings on Evidence.

Number 11, June 1987.

  • T.P. Schofield, A Comparison of the Moral Theories of William Paley and Jeremy Bentham.
  • J.E. Crimmins, Strictures on Paley's Net: Capital Punishment and the Power to Pardon.
  • J. Semple, Bentham's Haunted House.
  • S.R. Conway and T.P. Schofield, A Visit to Bentham February 1831.
  • C. Atkinson, The Jeremy Bentham Silhouette Rings.

Number 12, June 1988.

  • D. Long, Censorial Jurisprudence and Political Radicalism: A Reconsideration of the Early Bentham.
  • R.D. Collinson Black, Bentham and the Political Economists of the Nineteenth Century.
  • A.D.E. Lewis, Bentham and the Right to Silence.

Other Resources