←Return to News / Events


Andrew Stauffer : Book Traces & the Future of Library Print Collections

Dec. 3, 2019

The Richler Library Project presents:

Book Traces & the Future of Library Print Collections
A talk by Andrew Stauffer

Tuesday, March 12th, 2019 — 4pm, Room LB 655
(The Richler Reading Room)

McConnell Building Webster Library (6th Floor)
1400 de Maisonneuve Blvd. West
Montreal, QC H3G 1M8

What is the archive of the history of reading? And what will be the contours of this archive as it emerges from our current era of digitization? To address these questions, Dr. Stauffer looks in two directions: first, at the evidence of use in individual nineteenth-century books, donated to academic libraries; and, second, at the changing nature of those libraries in the wake of Google Books and other wide-scale digitization efforts. Nineteenth-century printed books are both richly served and particularly imperiled in the new media ecosystem. As scenes of evidence, they are at once exposed and occluded by the digitization of library collections and the resulting networks of shared print that are predicated on downsizing. Dr. Stauffer argues that case for the retention of individual copies needs to be made before we lose access to the rich layers of history encoded in those books.

Andrew Stauffer is an associate professor of English at the University of Virginia, where he directs the Book Traces initiative. He is the author of Anger, Revolution, and Romanticism (Cambridge UP, 2005), and the editor of works by Robert Browning (Norton) and H. Rider Haggard (Broadview). He has published widely on Romantic and Victorian poetry, and is currently at work (with Jonathan Sachs) on an edition of Byron’s poetry for Oxford, as well as a book on marginalia and the history of reading.

Organized in collaboration with the Centre de recherche interuniversitaire sur les humanités numériques (CRIHN, Université de Montréal), and with the support of the Social Science and Humanities Research Council of Canada.