Forwarded for the interest of lis-libhistorians
Peter Hoare, 21 Oundle Drive, Wollaton Park, Nottingham NG8 1BN
Tel/fax 0115 978 5297 E-mail [log in to unmask]
----- Original Message -----
From: "Matthew Bradley" <[log in to unmask]>
To: <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Thursday, February 21, 2008 8:21 AM
Subject: CFP: Reading and the Age of Gladstone, 23-25 January 2009
Reading and the Age of Gladstone
23-25 January 2009
Several recent and ongoing projects have sought to provide new histories of
the book and examine the role and position of readers within that history.
conference not only aims to explore the issues that surround reading in the
period c1830-1901, it also seeks to explore the ways in which the Victorian
period is read today. Increased literacy, unprecedented developments in
publishing, the widespread availability of texts through periodicals and a
library culture: all mark out the nineteenth century as one of the most
in terms of the ‘reading experience’. But how did readers of the time set
their task, and how should the modern critic or teacher set about theirs?
engagement did readers in the period have with the whole machinery of
producing and disseminating books, with publishing houses, with libraries,
periodicals, and how do such material considerations affect our reading of
Victorians today? What did the act of reading mean for them – and what does
it mean for us?
Possible themes might include, but are not limited to:
• the Victorians and book collections, libraries, literary institutions
• the Victorian periodical
• nineteenth century bibliomania
• mass literacy
• readers at the margins, or annotators of books
• readers as editors – collation of scrapbooks/manuscript volumes
• public readings
• the publishing of Victorian literature and criticism today
• circulating libraries and the public libraries
• writers writing about reading
• book clubs/associations/exchanges between readers
• ‘proper’ reading/censorship of texts
• reading the Victorians in the university environment, and outside it
• how to record acts of reading – the use and suitability of new
technologies in research on the history of reading/readers
Proposals (no more than 300 words) for papers of 20 minutes duration should
be sent to the organisers, Dr Matthew Bradley and Dr Juliet John, via email
[log in to unmask] and [log in to unmask] by August 31st 2008.
Confirmed speakers for the conference include David Bebbington, Philip
Simon Eliot, and Kate Flint.
The conference will take place at St Deiniol’s Library, which was founded by
the Victorian statesman and polymath William Ewart Gladstone (1809-1898).
The Library is the National Memorial to Gladstone and is both the only
residential library and purpose-built prime ministerial library in the
Kingdom. Part of the programme will consist of the official launch of the
Gladstone’s Reading Database. The research for this project, funded by the
Arts and Humanities Research Council (2006-09), has been conducted at St
Deiniol’s, and the database represents a virtual recreation of Gladstone’s
library, and a unique and comprehensive record of his reading of each item.
further details about the database, please contact
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