Theatrical Scrapbooks – article by Sharon Marcus

Sharon Marcus’s fascinating work on theatrical scrapbooks is discussed in a blog post, with a link totheatrical scrapbook sharon marcus a free peep at the article as well. The article is “The Theatrical Scrapbook” in Theater Survey. Marcus praises their value for recovering performance history, from the ordinary theatergoer’s perspective. And of course they were a kind of performance themselves, I would argue!


Busy week! Speaking Thursday May 23 at the American Antiquarian Society

The amazing American Antiquarian Society in Worcester MA has some great scrapbooks, including Lewis Tappan’s abolitionist scrapbook, containing an early version of Harriet Jacobs’s Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl that an unidentified newspaper had picked up from the NY Tribune from 1853, among their other extraordinary holdings. I’m grateful to have had a month there to delve into their holdings. Looking forward to being there, speaking, and seeing the congenial and helpful people who work there. (Good thing I got my grades in.)

Speaking at AAS

Philadelphia talk May 21: Ephemera exhibit at the Library Company

The new exhibit at the Library Company of Philadelphia is

Ephemera at the Library Company of Philadelphia

Remnants of Everyday Life: Historical Ephemera in the Workplace, Street, and Home. I’ll be speaking on the history of scrapbooks at the opening, May 21, 5:45.

Women’s rights scrapbooks on Vitamin W

Vitamin W has published Strategic Scrapbooks: Hidden Histories of the Early Women’s

Girls with scrapbook

Girls showing off their treasured scrapbook, 1880s.

Movement, my piece on the scrapbooks Susan B. Anthony, Clara Barton, and other women’s rights activists made. It has loads of pictures I didn’t get to include in Writing with Scissors.  Share Strategic Scrapbooks: Hidden Histories of the Early Women’s Movement with your friends.

(As if sharing space with Beyonce on The Root wasn’t enough for one week!)

Article on black scrapbooks on The Root

Why would a black janitor in Philadelphia in the 1870s make 150 scrapbooks? Why would

William Henry Dorsey

William Henry Dorsey

his friend, a black collector and amateur historian, make nearly 400? You may think of scrapbooks as a place to treasure up family pictures, but a century ago, African Americans created histories with them, shared community knowledge, and taught one another to read the white press critically.

For National Scrapbooking Day (May 4), it’s time to learn about how African American men and women saved and shared history in their scrapbooks not long after emancipation. My article in The Root explores the work of one prodigious scrapbook maker in Philadelphia, whose collection aided WEB Du Bois. (And of course there’s lots more about William Henry Dorsey in Writing with Scissors.)