Call for papers – Writers and their Libraries

Writers and their Libraries

15 March 2013 – 16 March 2013

Event Type: Conference / Symposium
Venue: Institute of English Studies
Venue Details: Senate House, Malet Street, London, WC1E 7HU


This conference in the History of Reading will bring together scholars working on the private libraries of some of the major literary figures in world literature. The aim of the conference is to explore reading habits, note-taking practices, marginalia and other traces of reading experience and book collecting in a comparative context. At the same time, the conference will offer a forum for the discussion of theories and methodologies that underpin this kind of research, as well as the problems and challenges of reclaiming, representing and editing the evidence of reading writers and writing readers from the archive.

We invite proposals for 20-minute papers that explore writers’ private libraries — regardless of whether the library is real or virtual. We welcome contributions from any world culture, language, field, and period. Interdisciplinary approaches are encouraged.

The following list is meant to be indicative of the possible strands, themes and topics that might be covered

General themes:

  • History of marginalia
  • Marginalia in the Romantic period
  • Bible/scholarly marginalia
  • Newspapers clippings / cuttings
  • Marginalia in the digital era

Characteristics of the Collection:

  • Multilingual libraries
  • Virtual libraries – Reconstructed libraries
  • Bisquing (or bisking) / censorship / infamous titles / banned books
  • Collecting books
  • Reading clubs
  • Early (scholarly) books
  • Typographic ornaments

Marginalia Practices:

  • Writing readers and Reading writers
  • Marginalists and Notetakers
  • Books begun in books
  • Marginal translations
  • Book emendations by the author in his own books
  • Humour and sarcasm in marginalia
  • Reading the visual: doodles and drawings
  • Group marginalia
  • Precocious marginalia

Editorial / Preservation Projects:

  • Digital projects
  • Editing marginalia
  • Recreating libraries
  • Private Libraries in the Rare Books Room / Institutional Collection Policies
  • Conserving and restoring books
  • The Private Library as Book Collection or Archive

Deadline for proposals (300 words): 15 July 2012.

Note: A collection of essays from selected papers will be published.

Inquiries and proposals may be directed to: Patricio Ferrari (Universidade de Lisboa)
Dr Jerónimo Pizarro (Universidad de los Andes)
Dr Wim Van Mierlo (Institute of English Studies, School of Advanced Study, University of London)

For an example of a writer’s private library visit Fernando Pessoa’s Private Library on-line at

Conference blog:

The School of Advanced Study is part of the central University of London. The School takes its responsibility to visitors with special needs very seriously and will endeavour to make reasonable adjustments to its facilities in order to accommodate the needs of such visitors. If you have a particular requirement, please feel free to discuss it confidentially with the organiser in advance of the event taking place.

Enquiries: Jon Millington, Events Officer, Institute of English Studies, Senate House, Malet Street, London WC1E 7HU; tel. +44 (0) 207 664 4859; Email

Citer ce billet
Irène Langlet (2012, 21 mai). Call for papers – Writers and their Libraries. LPCM. Consulté le 22 mai 2024, à l’adresse