"During the year of its development, "Our Mutual Friend: The Scholarly Pages" grew into an international collaborative effort, drawing on technical expertise from both sides of the Atlantic, design expertise from a Dickens web enthusiast in America's heartland (David Purdue), the devotion of a Japanese scholar dedicated to digitizing nearly the entirety of the Victorian era (Mitsuharu Matsuoka), and many other scholars and students of Dickens across the globe. The result was the 1998 launch of "Our Mutual Friend: The Scholarly Pages," whose original charter was to provide "a virtually inexhaustible storehouse of information for those who wish to explore in depth the complicated 'web' of this dense but powerful novel." At a time when websites were only beginning to proliferate, "Our Mutual Friend: The Scholarly Pages" was indeed something new and large."