‘Building an archive of popular fiction 1900 – 1950: Sheffield Hallam University’s Readerships and Literary Cultures collection.’
Dr Erica Brown
This archive, built through public donation, contains over one thousand novels by over 200 authors. We collect the best-sellers and lending library favourites of their day; those popular authors, such as Gilbert Frankau and Warwick Deeping, that Q. D. Leavis deplored as pandering to the ‘herd’ and ‘touching grossly on fine issues’ (Fiction and the Reading Public, 1932, p. 67).
To fully understand the literary history of the early twentieth century it is vital to remember, preserve and study these novels. In order to facilitate research we have created enhanced catalogue records which contain genre and subject terms, a plot summary, marketing information, and details of references to other books, reading and culture within the novels. This last field is an especially rich resource for the study of cultural hierarchies and intertextuality. The data has been collected with volunteer community readers who also produce book reviews.
This talk will demonstrate how the archive can be used by researchers, reflect on the cataloguing process, and present some of the rich data collected.
Monday 21st October (week 3)
5pm in HumSS Room 301