Guest lecturing @ SJSU, #bigger6 graduate seminar, with activities

Last evening, I had the pleasure of guest lecturing in Prof. Katherine D. Harris’s graduate seminar, “#Bigger6: Decolonizing British Romantic Literature (1775-1835) through Print Culture” (ENGL 232), from 7-8:30pm. My presentation had two parts. First, I gave a 45-minute lecture on the Stainforth library and its potential as #bigger6 activism, or the broadening of the scope of Romanticism beyond the study of the same 6-ish white male writers (John Keats, William Wordsworth, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, George Gordon Byron, Percy Shelley, William Blake, plus Sir Walter Scott, etc.). After this, I led a 30-minute exploration of DH project planning and management….

Romanticism on the Net, 2 Contributions

Romanticism on the Net (RoN) has relaunched, and with its reissue I’m proud to have two contributions to the new site, both DH-related. The first is my essay on Romantic London – Mathew Sangster’s wonderful project that maps the sites of London as depicted within various Romantic era books upon a base map of Richard Horwood’s Plan of the Cities of London and Westminster (1792-99). My essay is billed as a “Digital Review,” but my editor for the project requested an essay that does more argumentative “close reading” of a project than one usually sees in a review, and I’m proud of that. Read the essay to learn about…

A Negress in Stainforth’s Catalogue

My research partner, Dr. Kirstyn Leuner, understands that my initial interest in the Stainforth Library of Women’s Writing DH project was to recover the works of long forgotten women. Shortly after launching ourselves on this path, a narrower interest grew and I wanted to identify women of color in this 19th-century book collector’s holdings. Imagine my delight when I “discovered” a second mention of an African American woman writer in the Catalogue of the Library of Female Authors of the Rev. J.F. Stainforth.  An entry for Ann Plato appears in the catalogue on page 356 as “P.5 Plato (Ann –…

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: 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…