Vignette: Alice Flowerdew, Robert Bloomfield, and VIAF #Fail

It is stunning to me that Alice Flowerdew does not have a record in VIAF.org, the Virtual International Authority File. I started searching for Flowerdew while spot-checking our person authority records completed by new student editors (they’re amazing!) at the University of Colorado Boulder. “Flowerdew (A)” appears on page 161 of the catalog and has 3 entries, lines 19-21: Poems 1803 2d Ed 1804 3d Ed 1811 “Poems” is Stainforth’s abbreviation for Flowerdew’s full book title, Poems, on moral and religious subjects. The 1803 edition was published and printed in London by C. Stower and sold by sold by H.D. Symonds; Mrs. Gurney;…

Vignette: Miss Edgworth Temple or James Templeman?

Our newest Stainforth researcher, Faith, sent me a Slack message saying that she found a case of a male author in the Stainforth catalog publishing under the name of a woman. This would be James Templeman publishing as Miss Edgworth Temple, author of The Mysterious Shriek, or, Alexander and Lavinia: a metrical tale. Also, the ancient story of Pluto and Proserpine, and Cupid’s Delirium. From the Greek (1809). Stainforth lists four titles under Temple, Miss Edgworth (page 143): Metrical Tales 1809 Mysterious Shreik or Alcander 1809 Alphonzo + Clementina 1809 Recently, I ran into another case of a man publishing with a…

Vignette: Emma Roberts, Oriental Scenes (Calcutta, 1830)

Restore me to my rights; Cast off they paramour; I am not now The pliant girl, whose easy, yielding heart You moulded to your will. The slave of man, Too long consigned to tyranny and wrong, I know the value of the power I hold; And, taught a better lesson, will return The evil I have suffered. Give me way; I will proclaim my sorrows to the world, And force thee to an act of justice. – Rosmunda in Emma Roberts’ Oriental Scenes (1830) Far and away, my favorite moment in Emma Roberts’ Oriental Scenes: Dramatic Sketches and Tales, with Other…

Vignette: Poetic Flowers, Geneva, [1824]

The difference between seeing a J or a T means, for Mrs. T Smith, having your work accessible in digital archives or remaining concealed. We originally transcribed the author’s first initial as a J. The entry is in Stainforth’s wish list, page 562, line 15. The initial is added above the line, and I must say it still looks like a J to me! While once more searching for a trace of this work online, I discovered that the top search result lists the 1946 edition of the Catalogue of Printed Books in the British Museum. Knowing that most of Stainforth’s…

Vignette: Ouâbi : or The virtues of nature. An Indian tale. In four cantos / By Philenia, a lady of Boston.

This morning I’ve been chasing down a lead to a Stainforth bookplate I found in Stoddard and Whitesell’s A Bibliographical Description of Books and Pamphlets of American Verse. Their bibliography contains a work by Sarah Wentworth Apthorp Morton (1759-1846) called Ouâbi : or The virtues of nature. An Indian tale. In four cantos / By Philenia, a lady of Boston (pseudonym). This is from the bibliography: It looks like they found another book at the British Library with a Stainforth bookplate, though I wish there was no question mark following the name. It makes sense that they did given the very high number of Stainforth’s books with bookplates that we…

Vignette: Mary Roberts (1788-1864), Poet Naturalist

I discovered Mary Roberts while designing the website assessment test form for the Stainforth project website. I wanted to find an author whose first and last names were common to test our database search functionality, and I wanted to use an author who I was not yet familiar with. I was drawn to the title that Stainforth held, Conchologist’s Companion (1834), since Stainforth was also a conchologist. (He became the authority on a type of mollusk such that Lovell Reeve named it after him, called Mitra Stainforthii.) I was surprised that Mary Roberts is not yet covered in Orlando since she…

Vignette: Baths of Bagnole; or the juvenile miscellany

“K1 Baths of Bagnole (The) 1826” (28.06) – I don’t recall what drew me to this entry, but I wound up researching it for long enough to figure out that it’s difficult to find. I wonder why the “Baths of Bagnole” would be the title or subject for a juvenile miscellany? Stainforth lists this title twice in his catalog: the first is the entry I quoted above, and the second is the same but for the addition of the author’s initials, E. T. W., and it does not give a shelfmark. It seems like his first entry, without the author…

Mapping Stainforth’s Publication Data, Project and Methods

In January 2017, I started working on a project to map all of the publication place data listed in Stainforth’s catalog. It took around five months, but we ended up with a draft of all the data by mid-May to begin analyzing. Using the information provided from our transcription of Stainforth’s manuscript, I was able to filter the entries to identify ones for which Stainforth provided a city of publication. Using the author, title, publication city and publication year provided by Stainforth, I turned to Worldcat to search for further information regarding publisher and/or printer name, and a country name to go with…

Vignette: Sophia Hovenden, Jerusalem

One work found in Stainforth’s collection that is of particular interest to us is Sophia Hovenden’s The Hand Unseen, etc. [In verse.] published in Jerusalem in 1846. According to its Worldcat record, The Hand Unseen was published in both English and Hebrew in Jerusalem in this year, and a microform copy of the English version exists today in the British Library (see the BL record here). Otherwise I have not been able to find any reference to our Sophia Hovenden anywhere on the Internet. Nonetheless, this work is a unique edition to Stainforth’s collection, and we hope to gain more information about it and…

Vignette: Agnes F. Satchell

Agnes F. Satchell is the author of Miscellaneous Poems, privately printed in Antigua, Caribbean Islands, in 1844, and Reminiscences of Missionary Life in the Caribbean Islands, published in Loughborough, England in 1858. Sadly, neither of these works exist in eBook form, and Satchell is not listed in Orlando, ODNB, or VIAF. Nonetheless I was able to find reference to Satchell in a a 2004 review by Evelyn O’Callaghan titled Women Writing The West Indies, 1804-1939: “A Hot Place, Belonging to Us” in which Reminiscences of Missionary Life in the Caribbean Islands is used briefly as a primary source. According to O’Callaghan,…