Men and women 150 years ago grappled with information overload by making scrapbooks — the ancestors of Google and blogging. From Mark Twain to Susan B. Anthony, abolitionists to Confederates, African American janitors to farmwomen, people cut out and pasted down their reading.
Ellen Gruber Garvey, author of Writing with Scissors: American Scrapbooks from the Civil War to the Harlem Renaissance (Oxford, 2012) opens a new window into the feelings and thoughts of ordinary and extraordinary Americans. Her groundbreaking book reveals a previously unexplored layer of American popular culture. “Scrapbooks are a democratic archive,” says Garvey. “They tell us what the 99 percent of the past read and cared about.”
Garvey is Professor of English at New Jersey City University. Her talk is titled “Strategic Scrapbooks: Nineteenth-Century Activists Remake the Newspaper for African American History and Women’s Rights.” The talk will also include a display of historical scrapbooks from the Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, which Garvey consulted in the writing of her book.
Free and open to the public. A reception with refreshments will follow the program.
Copies of the book will be available for sale.