I recently presented a talk at the Digital Crucible conference at Dartmouth College, Oct 6-7, 2014. Here is my original abstract as a placeholder. In the near future, I will post a revised and updated version of the talk I delivered, along with my slides. I am in the process of making revisions to account from some very helpful feedback I received from conference participants. Special thanks to Amanda French, Kelli Towers Jasper, Dan Shore, Ivy Schweitzer, and Tom Luxon for your responses and questions.
19th-c. Library Catalogs & Stainforth’s Feminist Archive of Women’s Writing
My talk considers one history of the gathering, manipulating, and analysis of data in the nineteenth century: that which originates in the field of bibliography. I address the “book fever” of the nineteenth century specifically as it produced the symptom of “library catalog fever” as well as how those catalogs related to the household space of the library and a gentleman’s study—rooms that were without question gendered. I will argue that that Rev. John Francis Stainforth’s library catalog manuscript (1867) offers a feminist interpretation of a nineteenth-century library and its catalog. Studying the Stainforth library and catalog has the potential to help scholars recognize our own ideologies, systems, architectures, and discourses that govern current digital archiving practices.