Book History

Archival materials are essential in my classroom and in my own research. I’ve worked with students to transcribe early modern handwriting, examine how printed books are composed through folding exercises, and compare several editions of Jane Austen’s Northanger Abbey and Bram Stoker’s Dracula in order to consider the role of editing and typography in reader reception.

From 2015 to 2019 I was an organizer for the Yale Program in the History of the Book, which puts scholars, archivists, and bibliographers into conversation with students through a lecture series, seminar program, and the annual Harvard-Yale Conference in Book History. I also co-founded 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.

Most of my classes incorporate university special collections in some way, with an emphasis on hands-on access to these 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 (based at Oxford University) to examine high-quality scans of the manuscript drafts of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein and make arguments about how the novel was altered before its publication.

As a Curatorial Assistant at the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, I designed the exhibits Uncommon Law (2014) and Habits Ancient and Modern (2019) and gave public talks on these diverse materials.