Teaching and Reference Collection
Our collection, housed in Murray Hall, includes more than 200 items ranging from zines to almanacs to cookbooks to children’s books to artist’s books to activist leaflets to amateur newspapers. While it also includes multiple editions of selected literary works, the holdings are chosen less for their literary value than for what their form can illustrate about publishing, writing and reading. One of our main goals is to promote resources for the teaching of literature and book history, emphasizing the material aspects of bibliographic artifacts.
If you browse our online catalogue, you’ll see that some items contain marginalia or doodles, others have been torn and repaired, others invite a user to reshuffle their pages or to reflect on what counts as a book, a text, a work. Alongside these printed and manuscript objects, the collection includes a handpress with moveable type, half a dozen typewriters, wax tablets and materials for bookbinding.
Because this is a teaching collection, the books are meant to be touched; students and faculty are welcome to handle any of our items in any way they see fit. A subsidiary collection of already-damaged books is also available for students to cut up to examine their structure and learn about the processes and agents involved in book making.
Finally, the Book Initiative houses about a hundred scholarly works on media history in our reference collection, which will help introduce students to the history of publishing, printing, and reading as they intersect with the topic of their courses.
Anyone interested in having access to the collection and to our teaching resources, please reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org