During the latter half of the nineteenth century, cheap and shoddy reprints of Jane Austen’s novels brought her work to the general public. [Read more…] about Why are some books collected and others merely read?
Books + Manuscripts
When Johann Gutenberg and his team published their Bible in the mid-1450s, what they were selling to buyers were sets of sheets, sheets of either paper or parchment that had text printed on them. What they were not selling were books—not, at least, if we take “book,” as we usually do, to imply a codex that is ready to read by turning a series of leaves held together at one edge. As I have written before, when a monastery, church, or private individual bought a Bible from Gutenberg, they had to find a scribe to add red text to spaces that the printers had left blank. Gutenberg’s customers had to find bookbinders, too.
While doing research in the John Herrmann collection during her fellowship at the Ransom Center, Sara Kosiba found a manuscript of an unpublished 1925 novel. Titled Foreign Born, it tells the story of Ernst Weiman, a German immigrant living in the fictional town of Fairbanks, Michigan during World War I. [Read more…] about A novel discovery
Cassandra Chen was recently appointed the Pforzheimer project digitization specialist. Four years ago, she came to the University of Texas at Austin via Taiwan. [Read more…] about Meet the Staff: Pforzheimer project digitization specialist Cassandra Chen
The publication and series of programs Collated & Perfect tracks the changing standards that collectors, institutions, and scholars have used to describe and evaluate early printed books. Doing so reveals why the books take the often surprising forms they do today. [Read more…] about Collated & perfect
“What do the books smell like?” asked one of my students. In my Shakespeare class at West Texas A&M University, we must use the internet as our rare book room. Our institution could never afford the kinds of specialized resources we use every week online: my students can easily flip through digitized Shakespeare quartos, see performance clips and stills, and trawl through databases of historical records. [Read more…] about Central Texas to west Texas and beyond