[Archives Alive] Devils, Angels, Scoundrels, Fortunes, and Fables: British Eighteenth-Century Chapbooks at McMaster University Library
From the sixteenth to early nineteenth centuries, inexpensive chapbooks proliferated in Europe, particularly England. Popular amongst children, the working poor, and other people who left few other records of their lives behind, chapbooks featured a wide range of subjects: tales of scoundrels, tips on fortune telling, and shortened versions of medieval romances. To spend time with these little books is to better understand an oft-neglected, profane, and beauteous genre of British print which continues to influence chapbooks produced today.
The William Ready Division of Archives and Research Collections possesses many English chapbooks from the eighteenth century, when the format reached its height. Join Gillian Dunks, McMaster University’s Archives Arrangement and Description Librarian, in appreciation and exploration of these irreverent items.
About the speaker:
Gillian Dunks is Archives Arrangement and Description Librarian in the William Ready Division at McMaster, where she has worked since 2018. She holds a Master of Arts in English Literature and a Master of Archival Studies, both from the University of British Columbia. Her interests include Canadian literatures and 19th and 20th century Canadian print cultures. Her work encompasses archival processing, outreach, and teaching in the division’s instruction program.