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  • Book
  • Open Access
  • © 2019

Early Public Libraries and Colonial Citizenship in the British Southern Hemisphere

Authors:

  • Draws on transnational and new imperial history paradigms

  • Addresses the histories of race, science, and settler colonialism in relation to institutional histories of public libraries

  • Studies major colonial libraries across different national, geographic, and linguistic borders

Part of the book series: New Directions in Book History (NDBH)

Buying options

Hardcover Book USD 31.00
Price excludes VAT (USA)

Table of contents (6 chapters)

  1. Front Matter

    Pages i-xvii
  2. Introduction

    • Lara Atkin, Sarah Comyn, Porscha Fermanis, Nathan Garvey
    Pages 1-16Open Access
  3. From Community to Public Libraries: Liberalism, Education, and Self-Government

    • Lara Atkin, Sarah Comyn, Porscha Fermanis, Nathan Garvey
    Pages 17-43Open Access
  4. Cultivating Public Readers: Citizens, Classes, and Types

    • Lara Atkin, Sarah Comyn, Porscha Fermanis, Nathan Garvey
    Pages 45-75Open Access
  5. ‘A mob of light readers’: Holdings, Genre Proportions, and Modes of Reading

    • Lara Atkin, Sarah Comyn, Porscha Fermanis, Nathan Garvey
    Pages 77-102Open Access
  6. Knowing the ‘Native Mind’: Ethnological and Philological Collections

    • Lara Atkin, Sarah Comyn, Porscha Fermanis, Nathan Garvey
    Pages 103-126Open Access
  7. Conclusion

    • Lara Atkin, Sarah Comyn, Porscha Fermanis, Nathan Garvey
    Pages 127-137Open Access
  8. Back Matter

    Pages 139-159

About this book

This open access Pivot book is a comparative study of six early colonial public libraries in nineteenth-century Australia, South Africa, and Southeast Asia. Drawing on networked conceptualisations of empire, transnational frameworks, and ‘new imperial history’ paradigms that privilege imbricated colonial and metropolitan ‘intercultures’, it looks at the neglected role of public libraries in shaping a programme of Anglophone civic education, scientific knowledge creation, and modernisation in the British southern hemisphere. The book’s six chapters analyse institutional models and precedents, reading publics and types, book holdings and catalogues, and regional scientific networks in order to demonstrate the significance of these libraries for the construction of colonial identity, citizenship, and national self-government as well as charting their influence in shaping perceptions of social class, gender, and race. Using primary source material from the recently completed ‘Book Catalogues of the Colonial Southern Hemisphere’ digital archive, the book argues that public libraries played a formative role in colonial public discourse, contributing to broader debates on imperial citizenship and nation-statehood across different geographic, cultural, and linguistic borders.


Keywords

  • transatlantic library studies
  • British colonies South Africa
  • British colonies Australia
  • British colonies Southeast Asia
  • book catalogues
  • Anglophone colonial literary culture
  • social history of the library
  • colonial citizenship
  • Open Access

Reviews

Early Public Libraries and Colonial Citizenship in the British Southern Hemisphere is an important contribution to the study of library history, an often over looked aspect of the history of the book [or histoire de livre]. The four co-authors provide a scholarly and readable comparative study of the role major public libraries played in the nineteenth century in community building and the public sphere in British colonies south of the equator.” (John Arnold, Affiliate, Faculty of Arts, Monash University, Australia, and co-editor of A History of the Book in Australia 1891-1945, A National Culture in a Colonised Market  (2001))

 

Authors and Affiliations

  • University College Dublin, Dublin, Ireland

    Lara Atkin, Sarah Comyn, Porscha Fermanis, Nathan Garvey

About the authors

Lara Atkin is a European Research Council Postdoctoral Fellow at University College Dublin, Ireland.

Sarah Comyn is an Irish Research Council Postdoctoral Fellow at University College Dublin, Ireland.

Porscha Fermanis is Professor of Romantic Literature at University College Dublin, Ireland, and Principal Investigator of the European Research Council-funded ‘SouthHem’ project.

Nathan Garvey is a European Research Council Postdoctoral Fellow at University College Dublin, Ireland.


Bibliographic Information

Buying options

Hardcover Book USD 31.00
Price excludes VAT (USA)