At ALA last week, I shared some “hidden treasures”–underutilized resources–at the SSAWW site, http://ssaww.org. Some people asked if I would share the slides from the presentation, so here they are:
Via Twitter just now, two archival resources with great visual materials:
1. Turn of the Century Posters at the New York Public Library http://images.nypl.org/index.php?id=1543077&t=f
2. From the New York Public Library, an interactive map of New York over time
DUBOIS, Pa. — An indispensable masterwork in American literature, “The Scarlet Letter,” by Nathaniel Hawthorne, has been a staple in literary studies and English courses for generations. Now, thanks to the work of Penn State DuBois Distinguished Professor of English Emeritus Richard Kopley, more is known about how this novel came to exist.
Kopley has edited and re-released “The Salem Belle: A Tale of 1692” (Penn State Press), a novel first published, anonymously, in 1842. The unidentified author was Ebenezer Wheelwright. Kopley considers the book as a major source for the 1850 novel “The Scarlet Letter.” However, Wheelwright’s book had fallen into obscurity and was nearly lost to history. Kopley’s research shows that Hawthorne drew inspiration for his classic from this previously little-known work. The new edition includes an introduction and notes by Kopley, which detail his research into the two novels and their connection.
[Read more at the link]
In Project REVEAL, The Harry Ransom Center has put scans from its collections of manuscripts, photographs, and printed texts of American authors online:
The Writers of Project REVEAL
Charlotte Perkins Gilman
Christina Georgina Rossetti
Dante Gabriel Rossetti
Gerard Manley Hopkins
Henry David Thoreau
Joel Chandler Harris
Julia Ward Howe
At Easily Distracted, Timothy Burke reports the remarkable story of Rebecca Fried, a high school student at Sidwell Friends, who has disproved Professor Richard Jensen’s contention that “No Irish Need Apply” was a feverish figment of the Irish-American imagination:
Fried’s essay is a refutation of a 2002 article by the historian Richard Jensen that claimed that “No Irish Need Apply” signs were rare to nonexistent in 19th Century America, that Irish-American collective memory of such signs (and the employment discrimination they documented) was largely an invented tradition tied to more recent ideological and intersubjective needs, and that the Know-Nothings were not really nativists who advocated employment (and other) discrimination against Irish (or other) immigrants. existence of signs and ads saying “No Irish need apply,” taken as a given in many history classes, was challenged.
Fried published her findings in “No Irish Need Deny: Evidence for the Historicity
of NINA Restrictions in Advertisements and Signs”, Journal of Social History, 10:1093, 2015.
Patrick Young, who reproduces excerpts from Fried’s article and some of the many supporting ads, also includes some of the back-and-forth between Jensen and a respectful but unintimidated Fried:
Yes there were NINA newspaper ads—I was the one who found the first one—but I argued they were very rare. If a man read every job want-ad in his newspaper every week for 40 years, he would have a 50-50 chance of coming across one NINA ad in his lifetime. That’s what I called very rare—& the student called very common. Richard Jensen
. . .
I also have to respectfully disagree with your numerical calculation. I explain why at page 25 of the article, which is a brief response to your points. Briefly, if the man in your example read the Sun newspaper, he would have read at least 15 male-directed NINA ads in a single year, plus any female-directed ones, plus any from other sources. Thanks again for this. I respect you and your work.
Burke has a nuanced post that discusses the implications for historians, but on an individual (and non-historian) level, I’ll be using this in English 372 this fall not only to illustrate the issue of anti-Irish prejudice, which we discuss in a broader context of racism and xenophobia, but also to highlight the importance of questioning theories and returning to the evidence even when, or especially when, an idea is taken as given.
Now it is!
Here’s the link to the complete run of Frank Norris Studies:
And here’s the link to the Dreiser Newsletter.There’s also an index.