Book History

I work closely with archival materials in my own research, and as a teacher I’m always looking to introduce my students to primary sources. Among other activities, participants in my classes have transcribed early modern handwriting, learned how printed books are composed through folding exercises, and compared several editions of Jane Austen’s Northanger Abbey and Bram Stoker’s Dracula to consider the role of editing and typography in reader reception.

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.

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Working with a Vandercook printing press at Rare Book School (Analytical Bibliography, Summer 2018)

As a Curatorial Assistant at the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library (2014), I designed the exhibit Uncommon Law, featured in Yale’s Graduate School of Arts and Sciences Newsletter. And I recently completed work on Habits Ancient and Modern: Surface and Depth in the Pillone Library Volumes (2019), a Beinecke Library exhibit that explores a collection of Renaissance books as both material texts and experimental objects in the decorative and textile arts.

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 from anywhere. 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.

Discussing my exhibit on the Pillone family library (2019)