I work closely with archival materials in my own research, and as an instructor I am always seeking to introduce others to these resources—whether in the form of medieval manuscripts or contemporary artists’ books.
Since 2015, I’ve been a graduate organizer for the Yale Program in the History of the Book, which puts leading scholars, archivists, and bibliographers into conversation with students through a lecture series, seminar program, and the annual Harvard-Yale Conference in Book History. I’m also the co-founder and operator of The Census: a blog that showcases new book historical research with a focus on materials and methods that have traditionally been underrepresented in the field.
As a Curatorial Assistant at the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library (2014), I designed the exhibit “Uncommon Law,” which included materials ranging from fourteenth-century pocket copies of the Magna Carta to the working journals of police constables in nineteenth-century London. This work was featured in Yale’s Graduate School of Arts and Sciences Newsletter. And I’m currently at work on an exhibit on “Bibliomania” (forthcoming early 2019).
I have taught sessions of each of my recent courses in the Beinecke classrooms, emphasizing hands-on access to these rare materials. But I also seek to show students how they can work with such resources digitally and remotely. For instance, in one assignment for the literature survey course “Vampires, Castles, & Werewolves” (Spring 2017), students used The Shelley-Godwin Archive to examine high-quality scans of the manuscript drafts of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, comparing her annotations and those of Percy Shelley in order to make arguments about how the novel was altered before its original publication.