Lately, I have been dreaming of archives. I have never visited the Harry Ransom Center in person, but I recently perused its finding aids and made a checklist for a future trip. Noting the items from the Virginia Woolf Collection that I want to study, I was reminded of Woolf’s essay “The Countess of Pembroke’s Arcadia.” In it, Woolf wrote, “We like to feel . . . that other hands have been before us, smoothing the leather until the corners are rounded and blunt, turning the pages until they are yellow and dog’s-eared. We like to summon before us the ghosts of those old readers.” I daydream about examining the Ransom Center’s collection of books from Woolf’s personal library, summoning her ghost as I survey the physical traces left by her reading. [Read more…] about NOT SPEED READING: The slow pleasures of research
by JIM KUHN
The Harry Ransom Center’s collections are vast. Constantly growing with new acquisitions, our holdings include nearly 1 million books, more than 42 million manuscripts, 5 million photographs, and 100,000 works of art. When an item enters our collections, many activities need to happen before a researcher can encounter that material, before it is paged to the reading and viewing room, or before reference images can be provided as digital surrogates. [Read more…] about DARE TO RESEARCH: Diversity Awards for Research Engagement
Introducing a podcast: Welcome to Archival Fever! In each episode, your intrepid hosts take you into the archive in search of the wild, crazy, and bizarre … We’re becoming doctors in literature, Ph.D.s to be precise. That means we have research expertise in knowing how stories work and also about who gets to write them. It’s really about what stories mean for humanity and culture: telling you stories about what being human really means.