On a hot July morning two Mondays ago, a bus pulled up in front of the Kenneth Spencer Research Library and out stepped seventeen scholars. The erudite visitors were participants in Jane Austen and Her Contemporaries, a five-week NEH Summer Seminar for College and University Teachers held at the University of Missouri and led by Dr. Devoney Looser. After some much-needed tea and victuals in Spencer’s North Gallery (the bus had left Columbia, MO at 5:45 am, after all), the scholars settled in for a day of workshops and research. No time for pianoforte or leisurely games of cards for these visitors! The morning’s activities included sessions with Spencer Library staff addressing genres of documents prevalent during Austen’s time, 18th- and 19th- century handwriting, and reference resources for working with rare books and manuscripts.
Say “Northanger Abbey!”: Participants in the NEH Summer Seminar “Jane Austen and Her Contemporaries”
with Spencer Library staff.
In the afternoon, the scholars retired to the reading room where they threw themselves into conducting research with some of Spencer’s late 18th- and early 19th-century manuscript collections. Read the rest of this entry »