Skip to content

Writers and their Libraries: Call for Papers

January 20, 2012

Call for Papers

This conference in the History of Reading will bring together scholars working on the private libraries of some of the major literary figures in world literature.  The aim of the conference is to explore reading W.B. Yeats and his libraryhabits, note-taking practices, marginalia and other traces of reading experience and book collecting in a comparative context.  At the same time, the conference will offer a forum for the discussion of theories and methodologies that underpin this kind of research, as well as the problems and challenges of reclaiming, representing and editing the evidence of reading writers and writing readers from the archive.

We invite proposals for 20-minute papers that explore writers’ private libraries — regardless of whether the library is real or virtual.  We welcome contributions from any world culture, language, field, and period. Interdisciplinary approaches are encouraged.

The following list is meant to be indicative of the possible strands, themes and topics that might be covered:

General themes
History of marginalia
Marginalia in the Romantic period
Bible/scholarly marginalia
Newspapers clippings / cuttings
Marginalia in the digital era

Marginalia Practices
Writing readers and Reading writers
Marginalists and Notetakers
Books begun in books
Marginal translations
Book emendations by the author in his own books
Humour and sarcasm in marginalia
Reading the visual: doodles and drawings
Group marginalia
Precocious marginalia

Characteristics of the Collection
Multilingual libraries
Virtual libraries – Reconstructed libraries
Bisquing (or bisking) / censorship / infamous titles / banned books
Collecting books
Reading clubs
Early (scholarly) books
Typographic ornaments

Editorial / Preservation Projects
Digital projects
Editing marginalia
Recreating libraries
Private Libraries in the Rare Books Room / Institutional Collection Policies
Conserving and restoring books
The Private Library as Book Collection or Archive

Deadline for proposals (300 words): 15 July 2012

Note: A collection of essays from selected papers will be published.

Inquiries and proposals may be directed to:
Patricio Ferrari (Universidade de Lisboa) ferraripatricio[at]
Dr Jerónimo Pizarro (Universidad de los Andes) jeronimopizarro[at]
Dr Wim Van Mierlo (Institute of English Studies) Wim.Van-Mierlo[at]


From → Blog

Leave a Comment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: