Category Archives: materiality

Virtual unfolding: New digital techniques for opening complex documents

An exciting breakthrough has been announced this week, one that permits researchers to read letters without unfolding them, offering new ways of managing sealed and fragile documents. Using a combination of X-rays and 3-D imagining techniques, researchers virtually “opened” four letters from the Brienne Collection, a trunk filled with 2,600 notes sent from Europe to the […]

Poetry manuscripts: Two articles

Two recent articles from Alison Fraser, assistant curator of the Poetry Collection at the University of Buffalo may of interest. Both focus in part on questions of materiality — the manuscript as ‘trash’ and the clipping. The articles are: ‘Creating the Twentieth-Century Literary Archives: A Short History of the Poetry Collection at the University at […]

Manuscript fragments: a webinar to catch up on

The Rare Book School at the University of Virginia has been running a lively set of lectures and panel discussions that are now available online for anyone slow to catch on or living in incompatible time zones. For those interested in manuscripts there is: A Fractured Inheritance: The Problems, Challenges, and Opportunities of Collecting Manuscript […]

Boxes: A Field Guide — Download this new book free

Mattering Press has published this quirky book, Boxes: A Field Guide edited by Susanne Bauer, Martina Schlünder, Maria Rentetzi. This is not a book that deals explicitly with archives, but it does raise some exciting questions about archival materiality, given we often first encounter archived papers via boxes. As the Mattering Press site observes: “This […]

Article: On cardboard boxes and Andy Warhol

A new article entitled, “The implied rummager: reading intimate interiors in Andy Warhol’s Time Capsules” by Anna Poletti published in the journal Life Writing offers “a speculative reading of a selection of objects and cardboard boxes from Andy Warhol’s monumental artwork, Time Capsules (1974–1984)” located at The Andy Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh. Poletti explores questions of intimacy […]

New: The Digital Materiality of Digitized Manuscripts

A new book by Cornelis van Lit investigates how we might think about the materiality of digitized manuscripts. Of particular interest may be the chapter ‘The Digital Materiality of Digitized Manuscripts”. Often distinctions between analogue sources and digital surrogates turn on the latter’s apparent loss or lack of materiality, a proposition that is challenged here. […]

Now in paperback: Spontaneous Particulars by Susan Howe

Good news that a paperback edition is coming in May 2020 of Susan Howe’s wonderful short book, Spontaneous Particulars: The Telepathy of Archives. Originally published in hardback by Christine Burgin Gallery in association with New Directions, this glorious tribute to the importance of being in the archive will hopefully now reach new readers. Spontaneous Particulars […]

Article: Material Provocations in the Archives

A recent article by Dani Stuchel in The Journal of Critical Library and Information Studies 3:1 (2020) sets forth a particularly important intervention in terms of archives and materiality. As Stuchel outlines in the abstract:

Being a Terrible Archivist

For those of you currently stuck indoors, this podcast interview with Jenn Shapland may be of interest. Shapland talks about researching her new book on Carson McCullers which began when she started reading archived letters between McCullers and a woman called Annemarie Clarac-Schwarzenbach while an intern at the Harry Ransom Centre. “They are in a […]

NEW BOOK: On manuscripts, materiality and ‘thinking through paper’.

New out from Palgrave: Paper, Materiality and the Archived Page. The emergence of digital technologies in the realm of archives has enlivened our understandings of archival materialities and lent a new intensity to our engagements with the archived page by prompting us to consider the potential of paper and the page in ways that we […]