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RED Project

The Reading Experience Database (RED), 1450–1945

RED Letter: The Newsletter of the Reading Experience Database


Edited by Rosalind Crone and Katie Halsey

The last few months have been busy ones at the RED nerve centre in the IT department at the Open University. Earlier this year, we were joined by three new members of the RED team: two Research Associates, Jenny McAuley and Sarah Johnson, and a data input assistant, Isabel DiVanna, who are all doing excellent work finding and entering reading experiences. Thanks to David Wong, our technical developer, our new online form is up and running, and getting lots of use, and an experimental version of our search functions has been built. We are grateful to all of you who have been using the online form to enter reading experiences, and thanks also for your feedback on it.  Our trial online launch is now also complete, and we are indebted to all those who took the time to try out our search functions and complete our user feedback form. Feedback was in general positive and enthusiastic, and we will make every effort to act on your suggestions for improvements to our current version when it goes fully live in June this year.

But the Reading Experience Database is not, and never will be, only about technology.  It is, of course, also about the people whose enthusiasm for the project makes it possible. At the heart of the project is the individual reading experience, and we are, as always, extremely grateful to all our volunteers who have been busily entering a wide range of fascinating material, from the reading experiences of heavyweight Victorians such as John Ruskin, Thomas Carlyle and Charles Dickens to descriptions of the reading of more humble cobblers, butchers and printers. We would like to take this opportunity to welcome all our new volunteers to the project.

Public and academic awareness of RED is crucial to the eventual success of the database. We have therefore been busy presenting conference and seminar papers, and giving talks in many different places.  We are grateful to those who have helped us to spread the word, and particular thanks are due to Graham Allen,Siobhán Collins, Carrie Griffin and Mary O' Connell. of the Making Books Shaping Readers project at University College Cork, Nick Roe and Andrew Pettegree of St Andrews University, Luke Houghton of University College London, Alison Beer, Richard Daniels, Joanne Withers and Claire Harris of Hillingdon Libraries, Anne Henry and Andrew Taylor of Cambridge University, and Willard McCarty of the London Digital Text and Scholarship seminar.  We will be at the Society for the History of Authorship, Reading and Publishing (SHARP) conference in Minneapolis in July with a RED panel, and also at the Beyond the Book project conference in Birmingham in September.

We are continuing to update the RED website regularly, especially our events page with details about relevant calls for papers, essay collections and forthcoming conferences, seminars and workshops. If you would like to advertise an event on the site, or in the next issue of RED Letter, please contact us. If you have a book for review, or if you would like to review a particular book for the website, please get in touch.

We are delighted to welcome Dr. Shafquat Towheed to the RED team.  Shaf will be taking over from Mary Hammond as Project Supervisor at the Open University.  Mary is leaving the OU to take up a Senior Lecturer position at Southampton, but will remain closely associated with the RED project as a member of our Management Group.  We will miss her, but wish her every possible success in her new job.


Contact Details:  
Dr Rosalind Crone
Literature Department
Faculty of Arts
The Open University
Walton Hall
Milton Keynes
Dr Katie Halsey
Institute of English Studies
School of Advanced Study
University of London
Malet Street
Email: Email:

Forthcoming Events and Calls for Papers

John Coffin Memorial Lecture in the History of the Book
24 July 2007
Institute of English Studies, School of Advanced Studies, University of London

Speaker: H.J. Jackson, "Fame: the Book-History Version"

Venue: to be confirmed
Time: 18:00

Reading: Images, Texts, Artefacts
Postgraduate Interdisciplinary Conference
Graduate School in Humanities, Cardiff University
28-29 June 2007

Title, aims and objectives:
The principal aim of this conference is to encourage doctoral researchers from across the humanities to consider how the concept of reading may come to bear on their own subjects of research. "Reading" here is intended to be interpreted in a wide sense, to include the reading of, e.g. images, buildings, inscriptions, theatre or dance performances or other creative productions as well as books and manuscripts. This approach both allows participation by students from many humanities disciplines and topics, and also provides a framework for interdisciplinary cross-fertilisation. Beyond this tangible ‘cross-fertilisation’ a secondary aim will be to foster skills and confidence in presentation and communication among postgraduates

The conference will attract doctoral students — both as speakers and delegates - from a variety of disciplines including Architecture, Cultural Studies, English, History, Journalism, Modern Languages, Music, Philosophy, Politics, Religious Studies and Welsh. We invite doctoral students in departments and institutions across Wales and the UK and overseas in order to foster institutional links between students. Examples of themes to be explored include reading paintings or buildings, or reading urban fabric/landscapes.

For more details, contact:

Victorian Literature: The Canon & Beyond
University of Chester
Centre for Victorian Studies & English Department

A one-day conference
Saturday 2nd June 2007              

This conference seeks to explore the pleasures and problems of ranging beyond the Victorian literary canon. What are the challenges of mapping new territories in Victorian literary culture?  Is the canon open to expansion?   How receptive is the academy to ‘popular’ Victorian authors and genres? Are perceptions of the canon changing? How prevalent are non-canonical Victorian authors in university curricula? What might be the canon of the future?
The topics covered include: Socialist fiction, Charlotte Brontë, cannons and the canon, Mrs Humphrey Ward, Christina Rossetti, the Victorian vagina, Marie Corelli, William Carleton, Conan Doyle, G.A. Sala, Wilkie Collins, and more.
Speakers include Professor Lyn Pykett (University of Wales, Aberystwyth) and Dr Emma Liggins (Manchester Metropolitan University).
Postgraduate students are particularly welcome. The conference will conclude with a wine reception.

Conference Organisers: Deborah Wynne and Georgina O’Brien
For further information and a booking form:
email:   or

English Department,
University of Chester
Parkgate Road
Chester CH1 4BJ        Fax: 01244 511330


The University of Missouri at Kansas City,
Thurs, September 27th, through Sat., the 29th, 2007.

Suggestions for panels and papers in all areas of English, American, and
other literatures, media, and book history are welcome. Here are some
possible panels and topics:
1. The Reception of /Brokeback Mountain/, including internet activity
2. The reception of serialized fiction in periodicals.
3. Marxism and reception study
4. Rereading /Huckleberry Finn/
5. The Reception of Toni Morrison's fiction
6. Reading Torture Or Human Rights in Literature
7. Rereading Stanley Fish's Is there a Text in this Class?
8. Reception and nineteenth-century (American) women's fiction
9. Trans-Atlantic receptions of British and American fiction
10. American fiction and reception as (re)construction
11. Feminist theories of reception
12. Reception and/of children's literature(s)
13. The politics of reception study
14. Reception and the opening of the literary canon
15. Television audiences and reception
16. Reception and dissemination of print culture
17. Active audience theory/study
18. Intersections between reception study and effects studies

1. John Frow,
"Afterlife: Texts as Usage"
He was Regius Professor of Rhetoric and English Literature at the
University of Edinburgh and is presently Chair of English Language and
Literature at the University of Melbourne. His publications include/
Genre/ (2005); /Accounting for Tastes: Australian Everyday Cultures/
(with Tony Bennett and Michael Emmison, 1999); /Time and Commodity
Culture: Essays in Cultural Theory and Postmodernity/ (1997); /Cultural
Studies and Cultural Value /(1995); /Australian Cultural Studies: A
Reader/ (1993); and /Marxism and Literary History/ (1986)

2. Janet Staiger,
"The Revenge of the Film Education Movement: Cult Movies and Fan
Interpretive Behaviors"
She is William P. Hobby Centennial Professor in Communication and
Professor of Women's and Gender Studies at the University of Texas at
Austin. Her recent publications include /Media Reception Studies
/(2005),/ Perverse Spectators : The Practices of Film Reception/
(2000), /Blockbuster TV: Must-See Sitcoms in the Network Era/ (2000)
and the co-edited volume (with David Gerstner) /Authorship and Film

3. Patsy Schweikart,
"The Receiving Function: Ethics and Reading."
She is Professor of English and Women's Studies, Purdue University. She
has published on feminist reception study, including "Toward a Feminist
Theory of Reading"/ /and the co-edited volumes /Gender and Reading /and,
most recently, /Reading Sites: Social Difference and Reader Response /

4. David Paul Nord,
"Ephemeral and Elusive: Journalism History as Reading History"
He is Professor of Journalism and American Studies, Indiana University
and the author of /Faith in Reading: Religious Publishing and the Birth
of Mass Media in America /(2004); /Communities of Journalism: A History
of American Newspapers and Their Readers/ (2001); and /Newspapers and
New Politics: Midwestern Municipal Reform/ (1981). He is co-editing
/The Enduring Book: Publishing in Post War America/, Volume 5 of /A
History of the Book in America/ (forthcoming).

Poposals are due by May 1. *Selected papers from the conference will be
published in Reception: Texts, Readers, Audiences, History (the RSS
journal)*. To suggest papers or panels or for more information, please
contact the organizers:

Philip Goldstein
University of Delaware, Department of Media Studies,
333 Shipley St., University of Missouri
Wilmington, DE 19801 -Kansas City

Tom Poe
202 Haag Hall
5120 Rockhill Road
Kansas City, MO
Or visit the RSS webpage:



SHARP 2007
Open the Book, Open the Mind

Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA July 11-15, 2007

The fifteenth annual conference of the Society for the History of Authorship, Reading and Publishing (SHARP) will be held in Minneapolis at the University of Minnesota on July 11–15, 2007. The conference is organized in cooperation with the College of Liberal Arts, University of Minnesota—including the Department of English and the Institute for Advanced Study; University of Minnesota Libraries; Minneapolis Public Library; Minnesota Historical Society; and Minnesota Center for Book Arts —a part of Open Book.

The conference theme, “Open the Book, Open the Mind,” will highlight how books develop and extend minds and cultures, and also how they are opened to new media and new purposes. However, individual papers or sessions may address any aspect of book history and print culture.

The conference program and online registration is available now.

Pre-conference, July 10, 2007: Book Arts and Artists' Books
A pre-conference of practical workshops and a plenary session devoted to book arts and artists' books will be held at the Minnesota Center for Book Arts, near the University of Minnesota campus, on Tuesday, July 10, 2007.

The conference program and online registration will be available in February 2007.

Travel and Accommodations
The conference will be held on the Twin Cities campus of the University of Minnesota, in Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA. Minneapolis–St. Paul International Airport is well served by nonstop flights from London, Amsterdam, Tokyo, and other major cities. The airport is close to the Mall of America, one of the largest shopping malls in the world.

A block of sleeping rooms has been reserved at the Radisson University Hotel. Reservations must be reserved by June 17, 2007, and can be made by contacting the hotel directly at 800-822-6757.

About Minneapolis and St. Paul
Recently Minneapolis has welcomed several outstanding new buildings for the arts and learning, including the Guthrie Theater (designed by Jean Nouvel), additions to both the Walker Art Center (by Herzog & de Meuron) and Minneapolis Institute of Arts (Michael Graves), the Minneapolis Central Library (Cesar Pelli), as well as the Frederick R. Weisman Art Museum (Frank Gehry). The remarkable Elmer L. Andersen Library houses one and a half million books and related archival materials in giant vaults carved into the banks of the Mississippi River literally below the campus of the University of Minnesota. The Andersen Library is part of the University of Minnesota Libraries, a system that owns more than 6.2 million books. The University of Minnesota is one of the largest university campuses in the United States. Minneapolis, where the conference will take place, is adjacent to St. Paul, the state capital, where the library of the Minnesota Historical Society houses extensive print and manuscript records. Both cities boast fine theaters, concert halls, and restaurants, as well as outstanding parks, many of which surround lakes. More than 10,000 other lakes lie within a several hours' drive, including vast Lake Superior and the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness, which stretches along the Canadian border. Chicago, with its many cultural attractions, is only 90 minutes away by plane. July is the warmest month of the year in the Twin Cities; daily high temperatures average 84 F (28 C).

Planning Committee
Michael Hancher, Professor of English, University of Minnesota - Chair
Douglas Armato, Director, University of Minnesota Press
Thomas Augst, Professor of English, University of Minnesota
Betty Bright, Independent Scholar and Curator
Patrick Coleman, Curator and Acquisitions Librarian, Minnesota Historical Society
Edward Griffin, Professor of English, University of Minnesota
Wendy Pradt Lougee, University Librarian, McKnight Presidential Professor
Marcia Pankake, Professor, Academic Programs, University of Minnesota Libraries
Donald Ross, Professor of English, University of Minnesota
Ann Waltner, Professor of History and Director, Institute for Advanced Study, University of Minnesota

For more information, please contact
Electra Sylva


Collectors and Collecting: Private Collections and their Role in Libraries
Chawton House Library, 19-20 July 2007.

This event is jointly organised by Chawton House Library, the University of Southampton English Department, and Goucher College, Baltimore.

There are many examples of collections put together by individuals that are now valuable assets of the libraries to which they have been donated and to the wider cultural heritage. Such collections include the Henry and Alberta Hirshheimer Burke collection of rare editions of Jane Austen's novels and related materials at Goucher College , and the John Charles Hardy collection of eighteenth-century novels, a substantial part of which now forms a part of Chawton House Library.

This conference will focus on individual collectors of books and manuscripts and their collections. Plenary speakers are Reg Carr (Director of University Library Services and Bodley's Librarian at the University of Oxford), Robert H. Jackson (Collector, author, and lecturer on literature, rare books, and collecting; founding member of the Fellowship of American Bibliophilic Societies), James Raven (Professor of Modern History, University of Essex) and Bruce Whiteman (Head Librarian, William Andrews Clark Memorial Library, Center for 17th and 18th Century Studies, University of California - Los Angeles).

Beyond the Book: Contemporary Cultures of Reading
A conference at the University of Birmingham, UK
1 & 2 September 2007

Keynote Speakers:
Janice Radway (Duke University) & Elizabeth Long (Rice University)
Book groups, Lit Blogs, on-line bookstores, book festivals, reader magazines, ‘One Book, One Community,’ Reader’s Guides, ‘Richard & Judy’s Book Club,’ Book TV, ‘Canada Reads,’ the ‘Nancy Pearl Action Figure,’ ‘Tuesday Night Book Club,’… reading is hot!

This conference will explore the diverse formations, mediations, practices and representations of reading and readers in the contemporary moment. Cultures of reading are dynamic and complex: they involve not only readers reading, but also multiple agencies including publishers, booksellers, broadcast networks, national, regional and municipal governments, and educational institutions. The aim of the conference is to interrogate the relations among these agents and their investment in the meanings of reading. The study of readers and reading encourages, maybe demands, multi- and interdisciplinary analysis. We therefore invite scholars from across the humanities and social sciences to consider the contemporary meanings and experiences of reading in any culture or location. Selected papers will be included in an edited collection on contemporary cultures of reading/book cultures.

Beyond the Book is a three-year collaborative interdisciplinary AHRC-funded research project investigating contemporary cultures of reading. The transatlantic BTB team are: DeNel Rehberg Sedo (Mount Saint Vincent University, Canada), Danielle Fuller, Anouk Lang & Anna Burrells (University of Birmingham, UK).

Making Connections Between Library, Book, Reading and Information History

7-8 June 2007

Innovation North: Faculty of Information & Technology, Leeds Metropolitan University

A Conference Organised by the Information History Group, Leeds Metropolitan University, in association with the Library and Information History Group of the UK‚s Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals (CILIP) and HIBOLIRE (The Nordic-Baltic-Russian Network on the History of Books, Libraries and Reading).

Scholars researching in the history of print culture, communication and knowledge organisation often confine themselves to niche colleges of scholarship within what is a broad, developing and, it might be argued, increasingly integrated area within the humanities. This conference aims to bring scholars from these distinct yet overlapping colleges together to exchange ideas and explore synergies.

Conference fee: £20. (Concessions: please apply).

'Print Networks' Conference: Print culture in the provinces: the creation, distribution and dissemination of word and image

24-26 July 2007

University of Chester, Chester

The twenty-fourth annual 'Print Networks' conference on the History of the British Book Trade will take place at the University of Chester on 24-26 July 2007. The theme for the conference is 'Print culture in the provinces: the creation, distribution, and dissemination of word and image'. Provincial-metropolitan inter-trade connections will be acceptable or on aspects of trade relations with any part of the former colonies & dominions.
A selection of the papers will be published in July 2008 as part of the 'Print Networks' series, published by the British Library and Oak Knoll Press.

For more information contact:
Dr Lisa Peters
Learning Resources
University of Chester
Parkgate Road
Chester CH1 4BJ

The Culture of the Publisher’s Series 1700-2000
A major International Conference to be held on
18 -19 October 2007
Institute of English Studies, University of London

In the early 18th century, British publishers began gathering books together in themed series and packaging and marketing them as distinct, recognisable groups. The effects of this phenomenon were remarkable; by the mid-nineteenth century there were upward of 3,000 publishers’ series in Britain alone, and the phenomenon is of course still with us today. During this 200-year period the culture of the publisher’s series has opened up new possibilities for authors, publishers, distributors and readers, helped to establish a wide range of traditions from the establishment of national literary canons to the development of feminist lists, and influenced the kinds of literature we teach to the next generation of scholars.

While some publishers’ series have been investigated in depth, there have been few opportunities for the work of individual scholars to be placed in meaningful dialogue. This major two-day conference seeks to encourage International scholars from all disciplines to examine the culture of the publishers’ series with a view to furthering understanding of its historical, ideological, generic and geographical reach.

Confirmed Speakers Include: Robert Fraser, Mary Hammond, Elizabeth James, Andrew Nash, John Spiers

Dr Mary Hammond ( and Professor John Spiers (


Books on the Battlefield: The Reception, Use and Appropriation of Books in Warfare, 1450 to the Present Day

3 November 2007
King's Manor, University of York, York

The relationship between books and war appears self-evident: books have acted as potent weapons in ideological warfare and war has provided literature with one of its most enduring themes. Yet the reception, use, and appropriation of texts in a military context has remained relatively unexplored. While the work of Paul Fussell, Samuel Hynes and others has raised important questions about the literary dimensions of soldiers' narratives, the ways in which combatants' reading shaped their experience and understanding of war deserve further examination. We also need to consider texts targeted specifically at soldiers, from the pocket bibles and catechisms produced for the Parliamentarian forces during the English Civil War to the vast range of literature published through the US armed services editions in the twentieth century. Papers which look beyond the Anglo-American experience of war will be particularly welcome. Please send proposals of up to 500 words to Catriona Kennedy ( and Helen Smith ( by 30th April, 2007.

For further details and registration (£12/£17 for staff; £5/£10 for students/unwaged; free/£5 for members of the University of York) please visit the conference website at


The Parker Library Now: A two-day symposium on preservation – digitisation – scholarship – public access
6-7 September 2007

In the 1980s, Professor Raymond Page, then Fellow Librarian of the College, commissioned a review of the collections and their long-term preservation, and he established the Cambridge Colleges Conservation Consortium, still based in Corpus Christi College. A two-day conference was held in the College in 1988 to bring many of these issues to public discussion. The questions raised then are now seen representing a notable turning-point in the history of manuscript conservation in Britain. Two decades later it seems appropriate to ask whether they have stood the test of time, and to look at new directions for the Parker Library in the twenty-first century.

The Parker Library comprises one of the most important small collections of English medieval manuscripts ever assembled. It was entrusted to the College in 1574 by Matthew Parker (1504-1575), Archbishop of Canterbury, with detailed requirements of preservation and accessibility to scholars.

There are three current issues.

(1) The entire manuscript collection of the Parker Library is now being digitised, in a huge project in collaboration with Stanford University Library and with funding from the Mellon Foundation; and within three years every page of every manuscript will be available free on the internet. The project includes a searchable catalogue and comprehensive and up-to-date bibliographies for every manuscript.

(2) The Conservation Consortium has grown and flourished enormously, now encompassing eight colleges, and in 2006 it moved to new premises within Corpus Christi College, with facilities and opportunities inconceivable in the 1980s.

(3) The ground floor beneath the Parker Library will be vacated in the summer of 2007, allowing the creation of a proper vault and rare books reading room, which will, in turn, open the upstairs Wilkins Room for exhibitions and educational access on a scale and with possibilities unprecedented in Cambridge.

The symposium will include papers within all three areas, at their widest interpretation, including library history, conservation, digitisation and its application, new discoveries and directions in medieval manuscript scholarship, and the benefits or problems of access to some of the most precious illuminated manuscripts in existence. The Parker Library and Cambridge Consortium workshop will be fully available to participants. On Friday afternoon, there will be a choice of workshop and library visits.

Corpus Christi College was founded in 1352, and has some of the finest medieval buildings in Cambridge. The Parker Library includes many of the oldest manuscripts in Britain, such as the sixth-century Gospels of Saint Augustine and the primary codex of the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, and some of the most celebrated English illuminated manuscripts, such as the twelfth-century Bury Bible and the original of the Historia Maiora of Matthew Paris. The conference facilities include the McCrum Lecture Theatre with seating for 150.

The symposium will take place at Corpus Christi College on Thursday to Friday, 6-7 September, 2007. Speakers will include Christopher Clarkson, who spoke at the first conference in the 1980s; Nicholas Pickwoad, consultant for the initial conservation project, Melvin Jefferson, head of the Conservation Consortium; Mark Clarke, expert in pigment analysis, and Christopher de Hamel, Donnelley Fellow Librarian.

Accommodation is available within the College, up to a certain number on a first-come first-served basis.

The basic symposium fee of £90.00 includes all lunches and refreshments.

A very unusual optional extra is available on the Friday evening, 7 September. This is the Parker Library Audit Dinner, established by Matthew Parker to check the presence of every book under risk of forfeit of the whole collections to one of two other colleges; the Audit was revived on Parker’s 500th birthday and is now among the most spectacular and interesting of the annual ceremonies in the College. Places at the Audit Dinner are available at £50.00 per head.

For further information, please contact: Gill Cannell, telephone 01223 338025, email, Christopher de Hamel, telephone 01223 339994, email or go to
for further details.


The Third International Conference on the History of Records and Archives (I-CHORA 3) will be held in Boston, Massachusetts on September 27-29, 2007, hosted by the Massachusetts Historical Society.

The theme of the conference will be the history of personal records and personal recordkeeping practices. This theme is intended to cover the full range of personal documents—including, for example, letters, diaries, journals, and scrapbooks—both as document types and as parts of recordkeeping systems that document personal life. We invite submissions of proposals for papers that report on original research into a topic and theme that has not been widely discussed in the archival literature, although there are many scholars in literary studies, history and the arts who have probed the personal and social functions and meaning of records made, kept, and exchanged by people in their private and professional lives. Papers may treat any time period and any national jurisdiction. Topics might include, but are not limited to the following areas:

  • the forms of personal records
  • the motivations for making and keeping personal records
  • the collecting of personal records by individuals and archival repositories
  • cross-disciplinary perspectives on personal records
  • needs for research in the area of personal records

Please think about your work and how it may be shared with colleagues in the world of archives and beyond.

Proposals for papers should be no less than 500 words, double spaced, and in RTF format.

Proposals should be sent to by 19 May 2006. We will advise acceptance by the middle of June 2006.

Organizing and Program Committee:
Barbara Craig, University of Toronto
Philip B. Eppard, University at Albany, SUNY
Heather MacNeil, University of British Columbia
Brenda Lawson, Massachusetts Historical Society

Spaces of Print: Exploring the History of Books
Bibliographical Society of Australia and New Zealand 2007 Conference
15-16 November 2007

The Bibliographical Society of Australia and New Zealand conference for 2007 will be held in Hobart, Tasmania. Papers are invited on any aspect of book history - the history of printing, publishing, bookselling, libraries and reading. Australian and New Zealand topics are especially welcome, however other topics within the Society's areas of interest will be considered. For more information about BSANZ and its interests, go to the website (see below).

Closing date for papers: 31 March 2007

Ian Morrison: Phone: +61 3 6233 7474
Tony Marshall Email: Phone: +61 3 6233 7498



The Culture of Print in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Medicine (STEM)
The Center for the History of Print Culture in Modern America
Madison, Wisconsin
September 12-13, 2008

The conference will include papers focusing on the dynamic intersection of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Medicine (STEM) and print culture. Papers might address ways in which STEM-its histories and materials, its theories and practices, its economics, and its practitioners-affects or is affected by print culture. These approaches might include: innovations in the production and circulation of print; patterns of authorship and reading; publication, and dissemination of knowledge in the history of STEM. Alternatively, taking the various theories and methodologies that have grown out of half-a-century of historical and social studies of STEM, papers could investigate the social construction of STEM knowledge through print; technologies of experimentation and inscription as a print culture of the laboratory; and the social networks of readership in the production of scientific consensus or conflict. Though our emphasis is on the United States scene, we welcome submissions from other areas of the globe as well.

The keynote speaker will be Professor Jim Secord, of Cambridge University, Director of the Darwin Correspondence Project, and author of many publications, including the award-winning Victorian Sensation: The Extraordinary Publication, Reception and Secret Authorship of Vestiges of the Natural History of Creation (University of Chicago Press, 2000).

Proposals for individual papers or complete sessions (up to three papers) should include a 250-word abstract and a one-page c.v. for each presenter. If possible, submissions should be made via email. The deadline for submissions is January 15, 2008. Notifications of acceptance will be made by early March.

As with previous conferences, we anticipate producing a volume of papers from the conference for publication in a volume in the Center's series, "Print Culture History in Modern America," published by the University of Wisconsin Press. A list of books the Center has produced, available on the Center's website (, offers a guide to prospective authors.

For information, contact:
Christine Pawley, Director,
Center for the History of Print Culture
4234 Helen C. White Hall,
600 N. Park St.
Madison, WI 53706
phone: 608 263-2945/608 263-2900
fax: (608) 263-4849

Co-sponsors: School of Library and Information Studies, the Wisconsin Historical Society, the Holtz Center for Science and Technology Studies, the departments of the History of Science, the History of Medicine and Bioethics, and the School of Journalism and Mass Communication.


Renaissance Colloquium: Reading and Writing in Provincial Society 1300-1700
Canterbury Christ Church University & Canterbury Cathedral Archives and Library
Saturday 22nd September 2007

'...To understand the use of the materials we are investigating within the precise, local specific context that alone gave them meaning. This context might be ritual, political or at once religious and national.'
Roger Chartier, The Culture of Print (1989)

Twenty minute papers are invited for the Second Annual Renaissance Colloquium. The colloquia reflect a range of disciplinary approaches to the study of manuscripts and early printed books in a bid to provide a more fully contextualised understanding of literacy and 'book' culture in provincial society across the period. Working collaboratively with Canterbury Cathedral Archives and Library, the day will draw together scholars working on a range of source material including, book lists and inventories, literary manuscripts, early printed books, common place books, letters and civic documents. Papers are particularly welcome from but not restricted to scholars who have worked on material housed at Canterbury Cathedral Archives and Library.

Key themes include: types of literacy and the status of the literate, orality, dis/continuities between manuscript and print culture, reading and writing practices, issues of methodology, materiality, book ownership/access, coterie writing, reading communities, metropolitan and continental influences.

Please send a 300 word synopsis of your paper to
by 30th June 2007

Dr Claire Bartram
Lecturer in Renaissance Studies
English Department
Faculty of Arts and Humanities
Canterbury Christ Church University
Canterbury, Kent, CT1 1QU

from: William Hone, ‘The Yearbook’, 1832
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