The History of Paper: A Select Bibliography

In addition to our annual bibliographies, SHARP News will now also publish bibliographies focused on specific regions or on specific areas of study. We welcome any suggestions for future topics! This month we offer a select bibliography on paper and papermaking. Compiled by Cecile Jagodzinski in September 2021.

Amy Hildreth Chen. Placing Papers: The American Literary Archives Market.

If you are tired of taking acquisition adventures from librarian and bookseller memoirs as proof of the larger trends at play within the literary archives market, this is the book for you. Chen’s pithy study takes us through the views of each stakeholder connected to a typical American literary archival collection, from creator to end user, mainly through both quantitative and qualitative examples using her meticulous dataset of those authors included in the seventh edition of The Norton Anthology of American Literature (hereafter NAAL). 

Heather G. Cole and R.W.G. Vail. Theodore Roosevelt: A Descriptive Bibliography.

Heather G. Cole is the Head of Special Collections Instruction and Curator of Literary and Popular Culture Collections at Brown University’s John Hay Library; from 2012 to 2017 she was the Curator of the Theodore Roosevelt Collection at Harvard University. She has continued the work done by R.W.G. (Robert William Glenroie) Vail. He was the Librarian at the museum created by the Roosevelt Memorial Association, after Roosevelt’s death, on the site of his childhood home on 20th Street Manhattan (today the Theodore Roosevelt Birthplace National Historic Site). Vail had first started putting together as many documents on Roosevelt as possible. Later, he decided to begin writing a bibliography of all of Roosevelt’s works. During the 1920s, he wrote to publishers, collaborators and booksellers to find out as much as he could on these works. He could not complete and publish the bibliography, he started working for the New York Public Library in 1937. His work was “recovered” by Heather Cole and brought back to life; what she managed to do was to make all the work previously done, plus new information and research, available to readers and researchers.

Roundtable Review: Queer/ing Book History. SHARP: Moving Texts. 2021.

Poring over card catalogues? Check. Feeling oddly compelled by titles, cover copy or illustrations? Check. Scrutinising author photographs and biographies, publishers’ colophons and blurbs? – I’m just going to come right out and say it. Queer readers are closet book historians. For much of the last century and the early years of the present one, a necessarily partial, subjective canon of queer literature could only be strung together by tenacious readers willing to follow such tenous, coded “threads of connection”, which depend as much on material books and their paratexts as on their content. “Before love”, as Valerie Rohy puts it, “there was the library; before intimacy, before identity, before community, there were books”. But although the links between sexuality and textuality are well-rehearsed, the scholarly fields of book history and bibliography have been somewhat slower to accommodate queer theories, methods and pedagogies.