Writing with Scrapbooks: Cutting, Pasting, and Authorship

Everyone is welcome to come along this coming Monday (8 June) at 5.30 to the final Book History Research Group seminar of the year at Senate House, London. Ellen Gruber Garvey (New Jersey City University) will be talking about the use of scrapbooks by Virginia Woolf and others: full details below. No need to register!

Monday 8 June 2015

Time: 5.30-7.00pm

Venue: Room G34, Ground Floor, Senate House, Malet St, London, WC1E 7HU. Tel. 0207 8628675

Ellen Gruber Garvey (New Jersey City University)

Writing with Scrapbooks: Cutting, Pasting, and Authorship

Nineteenth and early twentieth century newspaper readers cut up their reading and made scrapbooks from it in both the US and the UK. They used these scrapbooks as records of their interests and activities, as mediated by the press. Ordinary readers also did this to keep track of information, and to speak back to the media in a variety of ways. Scrapbooks kept by authors tracked their own published writing and collected news items for possible future incorporation into their works. Scrapbook-making British writers included Virginia Woolf, Charles Reade, and Lewis Carroll. This talk will discuss ways that writers used scrapbooks and consider how scrapbooks can complicate our ideas of authorship.

Ellen Gruber Garvey is is Professor of English at New Jersey City University and Visiting Professor at the Université Paris 8/Vincennes-St. Denis for the Spring 2015 semester. Her most recent book, Writing with Scissors: American Scrapbooks from the Civil War to the Harlem Renaissance (Oxford University Press, 2012) won four awards, including the Institute for Humanities Research’s biennial  Transdisciplinary Book Award and the Society of American Archivists’ Waldo Gifford Leland Award. Her previous book, The Adman in the Parlor: Magazines and the Gendering of Consumer Culture (Oxford University Press, 1996) won the Society for the History of Authorship, Reading and Publishing (SHARP) prize for the year’s best book on book history. She has also written on American abolitionists’ use of newspapers as data, the advertising of books, and on women editing periodicals. She has written for the New York Times Disunion blog, Slate, and The Root, has held the Walt Whitman Distinguished Chair in American Literature in the Netherlands and is co-editor of the journal Transformations: The Journal of Inclusive Scholarship and Pedagogy.

This year’s Open University/Institute of English Studies Book History Research Group seminar series is ‘Paper, Pen and Ink 2: Manuscript Cultures in the Age of Print’. More details at

If you have any queries about this seminar or the Book History seminar series in general, please contact Jonathan Gibson (