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…

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,…

Vignette: Mary Fairweather, Agra

Mary Fairweather is the author of Hymns and Religious Poems of a Practical Nature, published in 1833 in Agra, India. While this work is listed in Worldcat, she is not listed in Orlando, VIAF, or ODNB. I was also unable to find any reference of her from searching the internet, however I was able to find an electronic copy of her work on Google Books, which actually contained a Stainforth bookplate! Reading through her poems provided me with insight into her life as the wife of a soldier living in India. Many of her poems are about war (which she seems…

Vignette: Mrs. Iliff, Poems, 2nd ed., Malta, 1818

According to our publication place data, Mrs. Iliff published Poems, Upon Several Subjects, 2nd ed., in Malta in 1818. We were very intrigued and wanted to learn more about this title and author since it’s the only one in the catalog (we know of at this time) published in Malta. http://stainforth.colorado.edu/catalog/page?page=225 We had no trouble finding this title in Google Books or Worldcat. There is even an encoded digital edition of this book in UC Davis’s British Women Romantic Poets Project http://digital.lib.ucdavis.edu/projects/bwrp/Works/ilifmpoems.htm.    The title page specifies that the work was “Printed for the Author, at the Government Printing Office, 1818”.  The…

Vignette: Elizabeth Culman (1818-1833)

While researching the more exotic publication places we mapped from Stainforth’s library catalog, we discovered that he collected a book by Elizabeth Culman (1816-1833) published in St. Petersburg, Russia.  The “Wants” portion of the catalog indicates that he wanted to collect Culman’s Works published in 1834, the year after her death. He did not cross off the title in his Wants list, which leads us to believe that he did not manage to acquire the title. This makes us feel better because we were unable to find much about the author or the title even with the help of the Internet. We could not…

Introducing the Stainforth Recovery Vignettes

This term Allyson Long, Dartmouth class of 2017 and a Neukom Scholar, completed gathering and editing publication place data for those entries in Stainforth’s catalog to which he added publication place names. There are about 1500 publication places that we were able to identify from the catalog data. (Stay tuned for updates on our results!) While collaborating, visualizing and analyzing the publication places, Allyson and I did what we usually do: explored interesting titles we found, searched for clues about authors who have left very small footprints in literary history, and shared what we learned with each other as we went….