One job that comes with the graduate coordinator's territory: teaching the Bibliography course every fall. We should really rename the course "Introduction to Graduate Studies," or something similar; it's been some time since the course has emphasized bibliography proper. Nevertheless, I'd like to start off the semester by having the students look at some older books. They'll break into small groups, look at each book in turn, and then discuss their findings. All of the books will have some sort of instructive quirk:
- Cover. Grace Stebbing's Denham Hall and Emily Sarah Holt's My Little Lady, both from John F. Shaw, have identical covers--in both cases, utterly inappropriate for the novel inside. (Ah, cheap publishing...)
- Recycle. Mrs. J. B. Webb's Julamerk is set in Turkey during the days of the early church. It's a bit odd, then, that many of the plates feature people in eighteenth- and nineteenth-century European costumes.
- Advertise. I haven't decided which novel to use here, but a number of them have lengthy catalogues at the back--always a good way of finding additional texts (and sometimes with interesting pull quotes).
- Annotate (I). An 1811 edition of the Rolliad with some of the politicians' names written in (or, why annotations can be helpful).
- Annotate (II). An 1849 first edition of Constance Lyndsay, with "1899" written in over the Roman numerals (or, why annotations can be not so helpful).
- Bundle. My copy of Elizabeth Rundle Charles' Conquering and to Conquer neglects to announce that the publisher has bound in two other works (or, why it's helpful to look beyond the title page...).
- Type. A late eighteenth-century edition of Antoine-Leonard Thomas' Essai..., complete with catchwords and the long "s."
- Tract. A Victorian tract in its original paper binding.
- Anthologize. Somebody's personal bound anthology of tracts.
- Periodical. A bound volume of Victorian magazines.
At one point, I was planning to bring in a late-Victorian paperback, but decided that it might not survive the trip in decent shape. Still, though, there will be plenty for the students to play with, and it should start the semester off on an enjoyable note.