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HOLDING HISTORY - JUNE 2021

It’s officially summer, but Holding History contributors continue to work, research, and create. For The Morgan Library Blog, program Co-director Joshua Calhoun recently published a reflection titled Textured Stories in Thoreau’s Walden. Rolling back the years, Professor Calhoun recalls the feel and the feelings of working in an archive, and the sudden moments of discovery that can only occur in these collected spaces. “In moments like this,’ he writes, “the sense of wonder and involvement that overtakes me in the library is not unlike that of live theater.”

Thoreau's Walden Journal

In case you missed it, read Marek Makowski’s recent post on The Bookish Blog; in “Holding History After 2020”, Marek meditates on how archival work might move forward after a “hands-off” year.

Fortunately, “hands-on” work is slowly returning. This month, as part of a National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Seminar, Joshua Calhoun joined the Folger Shakespeare Library’s Heather Wolfe to lead a papermaking workshop in Potsdam, NY. The workshop was part of a four-week seminar titled Technologies of Writing in the Age of Print, meant to provide an opportunity for local college faculty to get first hand experience with historical writing and printing technology. Local outlet NCPR was on hand to record the sights and sounds—read (and listen to) the full report on their website. Expert papermaker and community collaborator Robert Possehl couldn’t be there in person, but he was there virtually to guide Calhoun through the pulp preparation and to talk to students.

Eight participants in a room attend to a presentation on a laptop.
Participants take virtual instruction from expert papermaker, Robert Robert Possehl

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