Adam Matthew presents!: Conference papers and panels
Xavier Snowman and Sarah Hodgson at the Adam Matthew stand at the SHARP conference, Victoria (British Columbia), June 2017.
Scarcely a week goes by at the Adam Matthew office without a report landing in my inbox from colleagues returning from conferences in far-flung places. One or other of us is for ever off to an academic gathering somewhere in the world, often as an exhibitor with a booth of leaflets and goodies, and at other times as an inquisitive delegate attending papers and workshops.
Recently, in a bid to contribute to the academic conversation in as full a way as possible, weâ€™ve started to organise conference papers as well. This allows academics and librarians to learn in detail about aspects of our resources â€“ from conception to content and functionality â€“ and to gain insights into how they are experienced by the academics and students who use them for their research and teaching.
Craig Gallagher presents his paper on Colonial America, AHA conference, Denver, January 2017.
In January I visited Denver to attend the annual conference of the American Historical Association, the largest organisation of historians in the United States, where I had organised a panel of papers on our Colonial America resource. Two tenured history professors, a PhD student and a digital archivist discussed their use of the resource and its wider impact on their field. Max Edelson, a scholar of early-modern cartography at the University of Virginia, talked about the map collection in Colonial America, considering particularly the issues of access and ownership raised by the commercial publication of archival material. From the point of view of a doctoral candidate with a heavy teaching load, Craig Gallagher of Boston College presented what he called his â€˜manifestoâ€™ for digital archival resources, outlining the advantages to researchers in being able to sit at their own desks and study archive material which is often scattered across the globe. He also spoke on the advantages of teaching students how to use digital resources as part of university curricula.
Adam Matthew's Hans Anders prepares a presentation in the exhibition hall at the AHA conference.
My Adam Matthew colleagues have also been busy presenting papers of their own. September will see the release of Literary Print Culture, our digitisation of the archive of the Worshipful Company of Stationers, London, and Sarah Hodgson, its editor, has recently presented papers at two conferences, on the resource itself and on the material it will make available. While I was in Denver, Sarah was at the conference of the British Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies in Oxford, where she talked about the importance of the Stationersâ€™ Company archive to the history of the book, the work weâ€™ve undertaken with the Company archivist in assessing and preparing the material, and the challenges of trying to best represent the physical archive in digital form. Last month she gave a second paper at the Society for the History of Authorship, Reading and Publishingâ€™s conference in Victoria, British Columbia.
Hans and Lenny Rogers at the Adam Matthew booth at the AHA conference.
Church Missionary Society Periodicals and Migration to New Worlds have recently been showcased in Cambridge and Paris by other knowledgeable editors, and there are more to come at more conferences in Europe and further afield. Perhaps weâ€™ll see you there!