H-95. Reading Publishers’ Archives for the Study of the American Book
This course will introduce students to the use of publishers’ and book trade archives and other records for the study of the creation, production, distribution, and reception of American books produced from the colonial period to the twentieth century. Although the focus will be on American material, British practice will also be addressed if students desire. Particular attention will be paid to business records and how to decipher those that reflect the ways that publishers and other book trade members adapted standard financial and accounting practices, including double-entry bookkeeping, to their needs. The course is chiefly aimed at scholars who are engaged in book historical research, but will also be of use to librarians, collectors, and others whose duties or interests require an understanding and knowledge of the archives and records that document the history of American book publishing. In their personal statement, applicants are requested to summarize briefly their interest in the field, current research projects, and topics or issues that they would particularly like the course to address.
Michael Winship, Iris Howard Regents Professor of English II at the University of Texas at Austin, edited the final three volumes of the nine-volume Bibliography of American Literature. He is the author of American Literary Publishing in the Mid-Nineteenth Century: The Business of Ticknor and Fields (1995) and has published widely on the nineteenth-century American book and publishing trades. He is an editor and contributor to The Industrial Book, 1840–1880 (volume 3 in the History of the Book in America series) and served on that series’ editorial board. He has taught annually at RBS since 1983.Full Bio »