This platform promotes ongoing work in women's book history by providing a hub where scholarship and resources on women's writing and labor is made visible. We believe that collecting data, making this work “count,” is a feminist act that preserves our past and shapes our future. Women’s book history is continually evolving and restructuring, and we are committed to actively reflecting this dynamic field through our interrelated projects.
The bibliography is a database of secondary sources on women's writing and labor. Primarily our sources are in English, and non-English sources have a rough translation included. The database is not meant to be an exhaustive list of all book history sources that refer to women or discuss women, but instead a thorough snapshot of studies that take women as their primary subjects.
There are several factors that we would like to be transparent about. First, our database has an Anglo-American bias. We are slowly complicating this with more global sources (and are happy to take any suggestions for more). Secondly, we are literary scholars who focus on the broad Early Modern period, and the database is shaped by these interests and our training in these fields. Third, we define “women” as a constructionist, not an essentialist, identity. We actively index scholarship on multiple definitions of “women” and include non-binary subjects.
Our project is meant to be descriptive of the field, not proscriptive. We define book history in the same terms as Leslie Howsam in Old Books and New Histories: the intersection of history, literary studies, and bibliography. As such, our list clusters around the overlaps between these subfields that we list in the "Fields" option on the database. Since book historians have significant interest with digital methodologies, we specifically index sources working on gender in digital humanities. As a project of intersectional feminism, we also index sources by other relevant interests: critical race studies, postcolonialism, and LGBT+ and sexuality.
This list is a growing organism, and we are always open to adding new sources. Please contact us with suggestions for new additions.
We began Sammelband in early 2018 with the intention of exploring how to do “book history on a budget” for those without access to substantial archives or who are early in their careers. Our emphasis is on practical methods and open-access materials. We post blogs on the first of every month, which are usually written by one of the editors. We happily welcome guest blog posts, especially from early career scholars and those who are exploring innovative methodologies. Please contact keozment (at) cpp (dot) edu with potential ideas.
Cait Coker is Associate Professor and Curator of Rare Books and Manuscripts at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign and is completing her doctoral degree in literature from Texas A&M University. Her current projects include her dissertation, titled "Liminal Ladies: Reconstructing the Place of Women in Seventeenth-Century English Book Production,” and several journal articles on women's labor in the book trades in seventeenth century England. She also frequently publishes on science fiction, fan fiction, and popular culture including editing the forthcoming collection The Global Vampire in Popular Culture.
Kate Ozment is Assistant Professor of English at California State Polytechnic University, Pomona where she teaches English literature, literary theory, women writers, digital humanities, and book history. Her work focuses on women commercial authors after the Restoration, including articles on Aphra Behn and Delarivier Manley with a forthcoming piece on Eliza Haywood. She also has forthcoming work theorizing feminist bibliography and recovering the history of women bibliographers in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.
Together, Coker and Ozment are working on several projects about working on the bibliography and women’s book history platform including book project preliminarily titled Women and the Book: A Bibliographic History.
We are very grateful for the startup and maintenance funding for this project, which was provided by the Elizabeth Greenwade Qualls '89 Endowed Fellowship through the English Department at Texas A&M University. Our database was built through a generous grant from the Initiative for Digital Humanities, Media, and Culture. Our biggest thanks go to Laura Mandell, Bryan Tarpley, and the IDHMC staff.
Conceptually, the bibliography would not be possible without the pioneering work of Maureen Bell, Michelle Levy, Lisa Maruca, Paula McDowell, and Helen Smith. In particular, we want to thank Margaret J.M. Ezell for her mentorship and unfailing support and encouragement on this and other projects.
Lastly, we would like to thank our contributors, who have helped us grow the bibliography substantially.