Thursday, April 28, 2011

New: London Low Life, street culture, social reform and the Victorian underworld

This collection brings to life the teeming streets of Victorian London, inviting students and scholars to explore the gin palaces, brothels and East End slums of the nineteenth century’s greatest city.

From salacious ‘swell’s guides’ to scandalous broadsides and subversive posters, the material sold and exchanged on London’s bustling thoroughfares offers an unparalleled insight into the dark underworld of the city. Children’s chapbooks, street cries, slang dictionaries and ballads were all part of a vibrant culture of street literature.

This is also an incredible visual resource for students and scholars of London, with many full colour maps, cartoons, sketches and a full set of the essential Tallis’ Street Views of London – a unique resource for the study of London architecture and commerce. We also include George Gissing's famous London scrapbooks from the Pforzheimer Collection, containing his research for London novels such as New Grub Street and The Netherworld.

Topics covered include:

* the underworld
* slang
* working-class culture
* street literature
* popular music
* urban topography
* ‘slumming’
* Prostitution
* the Temperance Movement
* social reform
* Toynbee Hall
* police and criminality

New: Literary Manuscript Collections

17th and 18th century poetry from the Brotherton Library, University of Leeds

This path-breaking project offers literary scholars the opportunity to examine complete facsimile images of 190 manuscripts of 17th and 18th century verse held in the celebrated Brotherton Collection at the University of Leeds. These manuscripts can be read and explored in conjunction with the powerful BCMSV database, described in a recent survey of first-line indices for poetry of the long eighteenth century (c.1660-1830) as "the most sophisticated and flexible index yet created for a collection of manuscript poetry".¹ The database includes first lines, last lines, attribution, author, title, date, length, verse form, content and bibliographic references for over 6,600 poems within the collection.

Alongside original compositions are painstakingly copied verses, translations, songs and riddles. The whole collection is situated within an assortment of manuscripts, some entirely dedicated to poetry, while others contain medicinal recipes, household accounts, draft letters, musical scores and plays. There are also several printed works, with handwritten verse additions.

Tuesday, April 05, 2011

New: Through the Camera Lens 1907-1927

The Moving Picture World, an early trade publication covering American cinema set a standard for the broadest possible coverage, reviewed current releases and published news, features, and interviews relating to all aspects of the industry. It featured the most detailed news items, the best reviews and feature articles, particularly by Louis Reeves Harrison, W. Stephen Bush and George Blaisdell. The vast quantity of advertisements published each week was by itself enough to make the World a veritable industry encyclopedia. An exhibitor-oriented paper whose genesis coincided with the original nickelodeon boom, it also carried regular columns on projection, advertising, and theater music. At its height, the World was a significant industry force and remains of great value to this day, although more for the raw research it provides that for its reviews.

The Moving Picture World began publication on March 9, 1907, and appeared weekly until January 7, 1928, when it became Exhibitors Herald and Moving Picture World. Interestingly, the cover of the first issue of the new magazine featured an advertisement for Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, headed "Mergers Make Greatness!"

Without question, among the trade periodicals, the most valuable from a research point of view today is The Moving Picture World.