The Princeton Prosody Archive is a full-text, searchable database of thousands of digitized books in English published between 1570 and 1923. Back in 2007, Meredith Martin (Associate Professor in the English Department and Director of the Center for Digital Humanities) wanted to provide scholars a means of searching through books and articles about English versification to allow for richer study of English poetic form. Though originally just a collection of printed PDF documents, Martin and others’ work culminated in the Princeton Prosody Archive.
The PPA serves as a helpful starting point for scholars to begin exploring poetry, grammar, literary history, phonetics, phonology, and their complex intersections across history. Although the PPA contains thousands of historical documents, it encourages its users to offer new scholarship and to consider new ways of thinking about the technology and history of poetic language, rather than treat it as a static collection of documentation.
You can learn more about the PPA, read up on its history, or even begin using it yourself here.