Catalogue


Writing with scissors [electronic resource] : American scrapbooks from the Civil War to the Harlem renaissance /
Ellen Gruber Garvey.
imprint
Oxford ; New York : Oxford University Press, c2012.
description
x, 304 p. : ill. ; 24 cm.
ISBN
9780195390346
format(s)
Book
More Details
imprint
Oxford ; New York : Oxford University Press, c2012.
isbn
9780195390346
restrictions
Licensed for access by U. of T. users.
contents note
Reuse, recycle, recirculate : scrapbooks remake value -- Mark Twain's scrapbook innovations -- Civil War scrapbooks : newspaper and nation -- Alternative histories in African American scrapbooks -- Strategic scrapbooks : activist women's clipping and self-creation -- Scrapbook as archive, scrapbooks in archives -- The afterlife of the nineteenth-century scrapbook : managing data and information.
general note
Includes index.
catalogue key
9990203
A Look Inside
About the Author
Author Affiliation
Ellen Gruber Garvey is Professor of English at the New Jersey City University and the author of the award-winning The Adman in the Parlor: Magazines and the Gendering of Consumer Culture, 1880s to 1910s.
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Library Journal on 2012-09-15:
Garvey (English, New Jersey City Univ.) here discusses scrapbooks as a medium for recording events of the late 19th and early 20th centuries, whether in the realm of family life, war, social movements, or special interests. Garvey stresses that the scrapbook as a medium is important not only for what it contains but also for how its contents are presented. Scrapbooks of the 19th century were often homemade, consisting of, e.g., clippings pasted inside obsolete ledgers, unwanted novels, etc. From farmwives to suffragists, amateur historians to grieving parents, the scrapbook had myriad users. Garvey covers a large swath of ancillary ground, including newspaper exchanges, Mark Twain, and the suffrage movement. This historic overview indicates that scrapbooks were used to sort through the information overload of the 19th century much the way electronic sorting devices are used today, while scrapbooking itself has become a billion-dollar industry. VERDICT This highly academic work is unlikely to appeal to the casual reader. Those interested in the history of information management and of scrapbooking in particular may find it useful, as it offers a more academic treatment than such titles as Jessica Helfand's Scrapbooks: An American History.-Linda White, Maplewood, MN (c) Copyright 2012. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Appeared in Choice on 2013-06-01:
"Clipping" was a widespread means of circulating the printed word in the late 19th century. Papers picked up wire stories, and individuals also cut out items for scrapbooks that were so popular that Mark Twain patented a widely marketed self-pasting version. Analyzing examples from Civil War veterans, early feminists, and Progressive Era African Americans, Garvey's well-researched study argues that this undervalued form of American literature records the ideas and accomplishments of groups with little power in mainstream publishing. As she shows, the scrapbook could become a weapon against oppression. With "the subtle language of juxtaposition," scrapbookers could use the same words to support diverse political positions and to reconstruct suppressed histories. Written by literature professor Garvey (New Jersey City Univ.), this book offers a rich meditation on the types of authorship encouraged by practices of reading in the 19th century. However, in its emphasis on the materiality of its subject and its nuanced reading of the multivalence of both word and image, it should appeal to a broad range of readers interested in visual culture and theories of communication--especially because of Garvey's judicious comparisons to contemporary digital strategies of engaging text. Summing Up: Highly recommended. Lower-division undergraduates through researchers/faculty; general readers. E. Hutchinson Barnard College and Columbia University
Reviews
Review Quotes
"Writing with Scissorstransports us beyond the well-known world of books, newspapers, and magazines, of internet websites, blogs, and databases into a bygone world of texts created with scissors and glue. Ellen Garvey shows us how nineteenth and early twentieth century readers became writers as they recycled and repurposed scraps from various sources to create secret, unwritten histories that often worked against the grain of accepted official narratives of the times." --Carla L. Peterson, author ofBlack Gotham: A Family History of African Americans in Nineteenth-Century New York City "American scrapbooks may just be our most precious time capsules. Fragile containers of personal memory and public reflection, they're potent--if ephemeral--receptacles of social history. To decode such volumes requires a curious mind, a steady compass, and a generous heart--qualities Garvey possesses in abundant supply. An extraordinary book." --Jessica Helfand, author ofScrapbooks: An American History "Writing with Scissorsis cutting-edge! Drawing on an exquisite trove of original research, Garvey explains how earlier generations of Americans thrived amid an unprecedented onrush of information, tailoring media to individual ends and expressing-and making-themselves in the process.Writing withScissorsis the perfect prequel to Henry Jenkins'sConvergence Culture, one part celebration of the grassroots and one part history of the ways that people consume the media they do." --Lisa Gitelman, author ofAlways Already New: Media, History, and the Data of Culture
This item was reviewed in:
Library Journal, September 2012
Choice, June 2013
To find out how to look for other reviews, please see our guides to finding book reviews in the Sciences or Social Sciences and Humanities.
Summaries
Bowker Data Service Summary
Featuring over 50 rare and hard-to-find illustrations, 'Writing with Scissors' presents a fascinating cultural history of scrapbooks in America.
Main Description
Men and women 150 years ago grappled with information overload by making scrapbooks--the ancestors of Google and blogging. From Abraham Lincoln to Susan B. Anthony, African American janitors to farmwomen, abolitionists to Confederates, people cut out and pasted down their reading.Writing withScissorsopens a new window into the feelings and thoughts of ordinary and extraordinary Americans. Like us, nineteenth-century readers spoke back to the media, and treasured what mattered to them. In this groundbreaking book, Ellen Gruber Garvey reveals a previously unexplored layer of American popular culture, where the proliferating cheap press touched the lives of activists and mourning parents, and all who yearned for a place in history. Scrapbook makers documented their feelings about momentous public events such as living through the Civil War, mediated through the newspapers. African Americans and women's rights activists collected, concentrated, and critiqued accounts from a press that they did not control to create "unwritten histories" in books they wrote with scissors. Whether scrapbook makers pasted their clippings into blank books, sermon collections, or the pre-gummed scrapbook that Mark Twain invented, they claimed ownership of their reading. They created their own democratic archives. Writing with Scissorsargues that people have long had a strong personal relationship to media. Like newspaper editors who enthusiastically "scissorized" and reprinted attractive items from other newspapers, scrapbook makers passed their reading along to family and community. This book explains how their scrapbooks underlie our present-day ways of thinking about information, news, and what we do with it.
Main Description
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.
Main Description
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 were flooding the public once mass-circulation was common--we have little knowledge of what, and particularly how people read.Writing with Scissorsfollows 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 Scissorsexplores 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, and links. 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 than just 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.
Main Description
What did ordinary Americans such as farmers and janitors have in common with extraordinary ones like Abraham Lincoln, Frederick Douglass, Mark Twain, and Susan B. Anthony? In this fascinating cultural history, Ellen Gruber Garvey explores how Americans from all walks of life created scrapbooks to document, share, critique, and participate in a rapidly changing world of information overload. Featuring over sixty rare and hard-to-find illustrations, Writing with Scissors reveals how people have had an interactive relationship with the media since long before the Internet era. Book jacket.
Table of Contents
Acknowledgmentsp. vii
Introductionp. 3
Reuse, Recycle, Recirculate: Scrapbooks Remake Valuep. 25
Mark Twain's Scrapbook Innovationsp. 60
Civil War Scrapbooks: Newspaper and Nationp. 87
Alternative Histories in African American Scrapbooksp. 131
Strategic Scrapbooks: Activist Women's Clipping and Self-Creationp. 172
Scrapbook as Archive, Scrapbooks in Archivesp. 207
The Afterlife of the Nineteenth-Century Scrapbook: Managing Data and Informationp. 229
Notesp. 253
Indexp. 293
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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