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Clearing House for Bibliographical Projects

In a spirit of scholarly openness, the Centre for the Book at Otago is keen to promote analytical and historical bibliographical study of print materials.

The following topics are projects that various bibliographers think are worth doing, if someone has the time and interest to pursue them. All are posted here for the taking; we ask only that you let us know you would like to run with a topic so that we can alter the status the idea to ‘underway’ and attach your name to it in case others might wish to contact you.

Prospective postgraduate students who might wish to investigate any of these topics should contact Shef Rogers or other Otago staff who would be willing to supervise most of these topics and would be happy to discuss funding possibilities available to Otago postgraduate students. But students at other institutions should feel free to adopt an idea and build a degree around it, ideally posting a copy of their theses or a summary of their findings and enabling us to move the topic into the ‘completed’ category. And other scholars are invited to add their names to the list of ‘Interested Scholars’.

Finally, those wishing to suggest other topics are most welcome to do so. The current topics are often NZ-focused, but all places, periods and languages are welcome. The aim is to keep the page as an up-to-date wish list and gradually to build links to other sites as projects are taken up.

Title of Project

Interested Scholars

Notes

Available

Underway

Completed

Index of C18 English printer ornaments

Keith Maslen, John C. Ross, James E. May, James McLaverty, Richard Goulden, John P. Chalmers

Bowyer, Wright, and Acker ornmanents identified in individual studies. Jim May is working on Edmund Curll.

Picture of image with words "Pick Me" or similar information

Subscription Lists for C18 English Books (available in Ancestry.com)

Shef Rogers

An index by genre would be useful, as well as by year. Published material from Newcastle in 1970s–1980s. Exemplary work by Hugh Amory on subscription lists

Picture of image with words "Pick Me" or similar information

Directory of NZ Printers

Keith Maslen

Initial work could be done on particular regions or periods

Picture of image with words "Pick Me" or similar information

Directory of NZ Booksellers

Donald Kerr

Initial work could be done on particular regions or periods

Picture of image with words "Pick Me" or similar information

C19 Pamphlet Exchange

Noel Waite, Tony Ballantyne, Donald Kerr

Significant collections in many libraries, often on scientific and industrial topics, and widely circulated. David Finkelstein’s TLS review of Leah Price’s How to Do Things with Books in Victorian Britain cites her figure on Religious Tract Soc distributing 23 million titles in 1840-49 vs c 20,000 books in the period (17 & 24 Aug, p. 29).

Picture of image with words "Pick Me" or similar information

Production and distribution of Māori-language newspapers from 1842

Lachy Paterson

Info in Māori Books in Print rather sparse. Most newspapers (to 1933) online. Archival material at Turnbull, Archives New Zealand, church and other archives. Need some proficiency in te reo Māori

Picture of image with words "Pick Me" or similar information

Priority of Print in Regular vs Fine Paper Copies

Jim May, Shef Rogers

See Jim’s recent essay, “Threats to Bibliographical and Textual Studies…” in Textual Studies and the Enlarged Eighteenth Century: Precision as Profusion, ed. Kevin Cope and Robert Leitz (Plymouth: Rowan and Littlefield, 2012), 61-100, p. 77, showing that fine paper copies of Edward Young’s Force of Religion were printed later.  Was this because make ready was better and text more fully corrected, or is it unusual?

Picture of image with words "Pick Me" or similar information

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