Writing with Scissors: American Scrapbooks from the Civil War to the Harlem Renaissance

Paperback | October 17, 2012

byEllen Gruber Garvey

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Scrapbooks have been around since printed matter began to flow into the lives of ordinary people, a flow that became an ocean in nineteenth-century America. Though libraries can show us the vast archive - literally thousands of dailies, weeklies, monthlies, quarterlies, and annuals wereflooding the public once mass-circulation was common - we have little knowledge of what, and particularly how people read. Writing with Scissors follows swimmers through that first ocean of print. We know that thousands of people were making meaning out of the swirl of paper that engulfed them. Ordinary readers processed the materials around them, selected choice examples, and created book-like collections that proclaimed the importance of what they read. Writing with Scissors explores the scrapbook making practices of men and women who had varying positions of power and access to media.It considers what the bookmakers valued and what was valued by the people or institutions that sheltered them over time. It compares nineteenth-century scrapbooking methods with current techniques for coping with an abundance of new information on the Web, such as bookmarks, favorites lists, andlinks. The book is part of a developing literature in cultural studies and book history exploring reading practices of ordinary readers. Scholars interested in the burgeoning field of print culture have not yet taken full advantage of scrapbooks, these great repositories of American memory. Rather thanjust using evidence from scrapbooks, Garvey turns to the scrapbook as a genre on its own. Her book offers a fascinating view of the semi-permeable border between public and domestic realms, illuminating the ongoing negotiation between readers and the press.

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Scrapbooks have been around since printed matter began to flow into the lives of ordinary people, a flow that became an ocean in nineteenth-century America. Though libraries can show us the vast archive - literally thousands of dailies, weeklies, monthlies, quarterlies, and annuals wereflooding the public once mass-circulation was com...

Ellen Gruber Garvey is Professor of English at the New Jersey City University.

other books by Ellen Gruber Garvey

Format:PaperbackDimensions:336 pages, 9.25 × 6.12 × 0.68 inPublished:October 17, 2012Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199927693

ISBN - 13:9780199927692

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Table of Contents

Introduction1. Reuse, Recycle, Recirculate: Scrapbooks Remake Value2. Mark Twain's Scrapbook Innovations3. Civil War Scrapbooks: Newspaper and Nation4. Alternative Histories in African American Scrapbooks5. Strategic Scrapbooks: Activist Women's Clipping and Self-Creation6. Scrapbook as Archive, Scrapbooks in Archives7. The Afterlife of the Nineteenth-Century ScrapbookIndex