Category Archives: materiality

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 […]

Image, Knife, Gluepot: Open access book

While this title technically falls outside the period generally covered in this blog, the topic is nevertheless of interest to those concerned with paper and materiality. Image, Knife, and Gluepot: Early Assemblage in Manuscript and Print by Kathryn M Rudy explores how manuscript pages and fragments travel through time. In her introduction, “Hybrid Books in Flux”, Rudy […]

The avant-garde manuscript: ‘Look beyond words’

An interesting excerpt from Kevin Repp‘s essay accompanying the Beinecke’s new exhibition, ‘Beyond Words: Experimental Poetry & the Avant-Garde‘ in which he highlights questions of materiality and visual materiality — or how the page matters for the avant-garde manuscript. “Even when they seem to make up the entire poem, words are by no means the […]

New book on technology and complex materiality

ARC Humanities Press has released the new title by Bill Endres, Digitizing Medieval Manuscripts: The St. Chad Gospels, Materiality, Recoveries, and Representation in 2D & 3D. While outside the historical period mainly covered on archivefutures, it may be of interest nevertheless in terms of the how it advances debates around digital technology and complex materiality.     […]

The taste of the archive in the digital age: article

Quite exciting to locate this article today via the Documentary Heritage News digest: Le goût de l’archive à l’ère numérique published  in La vie des idées. Anyone familiar with Arlette Farge’s book will immediately recognise the reference and also the importance of seeking to extend her thinking into the digital era. By the time Farge’s wonderful […]

Close Reading an Archival Object

The latest issue of Papers on Language and Literature 55:1 (2019) is a special issue, “Archives, Authority, Aura: Modernism’s Archival Turn”. Of particular interest is Emily Ridge‘s new article entitled, “Close Reading an Archival Object: Reflections on a Postcard from Salvador Dalí to Stefan Zweig, Circa 1938” which offers a complex reading of a single […]

Brittle paper: what can it stand?

Taking a literal turn in our thinking around materiality and the archived page, the following recent publications examine the mechanics of aged and brittle paper: “Comparing Non-destructive Mechanical Testing Methods for the Assessment of Brittle Papers – The Cantilever, Hanging Pear Loop, and Clamped Fold Tests” by Andrea K. I. Hall, Raymond H. Plaut and Patricia M. McGuiggan, […]

Mess and miscellany: new book

Just released by OUP Canada is Angus Vine‘s new book, Miscellaneous Order: Manuscript Culture and the Early Modern Organization of Knowledge.  This book will be of interest to scholars working on questions of materiality in particular. Vine examines the early modern manuscript miscellany, an object often dismissed in its disorder and mess. “Drawing on original literary and historical […]

On “routine and frankly boring” archival labour

There have been several high profile Twitter interventions lately on the question of archival “discoveries”. In a timely blog post on the language scholars use to (mis)characterise archival settings, Beth Doyle makes the very important point that the same language inevitably displaces the very real (and gendered) labour of archivists, labour that invariably underpins scholars’ […]