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Further discussion of digital bibliography assignment

MP3 file (8MB, 8 minutes), for those wanting a more substantive account of the assignment; repeats information given in lecture

<Note: the audio is meant to follow the written text of the assignment, which is posted below. >


Missing SocialBook assignments

As of noon on December 4, the tally of missing SocialBook assignments looks something like this:

-Bianka’s sections: 5

-Billy’s sections: 10

-Lia’s sections: 8

-John’s sections: 8

-Scott’s sections: 6

Reminder: All assignments for this course must be completed in order to receive a passing grade.

Digital bibliography exercise

Due: hard copy in lecture on the last day of the term (Wednesday, December 6)

Format: typed questionnaire, no length requirement

(1) Find a copy of your favorite pre-1920 text in three of the following online repositories: Google Books, Project Gutenberg, Internet Archive, HathiTrust Digital Library.

// Exception: it cannot be Hard Times because I am using it as an example in lecture.
// Choose just 3 of the 4 repositories listed here.
// I specify “favorite” because you are likely to be more interested in the results, but any pre-1920 text will suffice.
// “a copy” = one copy

(2) Answer these questions for each repository (questionnaire format is fine):

Which editions of your chosen book are held there (publisher & year)?
Which formats are available?
Can you download a copy?
What is the source of the digital text?
Can you annotate and report errors? What is the search functionality?
What are the restrictions on use?
Anything else notable?

Further discussion of SocialBook assignment (updated)

MP3 file with further discussion of SocialBook assignment [spoilers] (6MB, 6 minutes)

If you are off campus, whether here in Santa Barbara or at home, you will need to use the proxy server to access the archives and databases through the UCSB library website <>. It is the first option in the pull-down menu in the upper-right corner of the site (“login”).

Update: sample annotations from lecture (plus a few more) can be found here

SocialBook assignment


Use an online library resource to create a scholarly footnote for Hard Times. Your footnote will entail both annotation (comment upon) and historical research.

–  Email invitations to a SocialBook group will be sent before Thanksgiving. On Monday let me know if you have not yet received one.
– Browser recommendation: Safari or Chrome
– The English department has a dedicated TA to assist with media/technology issues. He holds regular lab hours in South Hall 2509.
– Deadline: end of Week 9
– Assessment: exemplary, proficient, developing

Sample library resources (use a proxy server if you are not on campus)
Oxford English Dictionary; Times (London) archive; Nineteenth Century Collections Online (NCCO); C19 Index; Historical Newspapers Online
–> Other indexes and research databases available from the Davidson Library page:

  • Oxford English Dictionary option: gloss a word in Hard Times. See what meaning is operative in *a twenty-year period around the date of publication*. How does a change or difference in definition affect your reading? [Note: you must use the OED to account for the meaning of your chosen word in the mid 19th century.]
  • Everyday life: look up some aspect of the fictional world of the novel (again working with about a 20-year period). How does it illuminate your reading?
  • Object option: look up a material object to find out the meaning or significance of this object in Dickens’ moment. How does it function within the text?
  • Periodicals option: look up a review of Hard Times from around the date of publication. What aspects of the text were singled out for comment?
  • Manuscript option: research some aspect of the publication of Hard Times (e.g. serialization, advertisements in the magazine, Household Words). What do you learn about the audience or publication practices?


Read more…

Papers due in lecture tonight

This is a reminder that your midterm papers are due in hard copy at the end of lecture tonight. While everyone is together I will be explaining the next assignment, for which we will be using SocialBook.

Looking ahead: schedule for the week ahead

A reminder of where things stand at the end of Week 7: we have three weeks and five lectures remaining in the term, with 70% of your grade, including section, still to be earned. So there is hard work still to be done, particularly this week with your midterm papers!

After the papers, we have two short writing assignments outstanding: the SocialBook exercise and the digital bibliography. I will send out invitations to SocialBook over email next week and will be explaining the assignment in lecture on Monday. The text for the assignment is Charles Dickens, Hard Times.

Reminder: there is no lecture on Wednesday, November 22, but morning sections will be meeting as scheduled. (The university closes in the afternoon.)


Still more discussion of midterm papers

MP3 file (5 minutes, 1.5MB, admittedly low quality and reiterative)

Further discussion of midterm papers

Audio file (4.5 min, 3.5MB): further discussion of midterm papers

Campus Learning Assistant Services (CLAS) offers tutoring in writing.

Citation information for “The Briefing” is tricky so I’ll note the source here:

Budak, Adam, Anselm Franke, and Hila Peleg. Companion: Manifesta 7: The European Biennial of Contemporary Art. Cinisello Balsamo, Milano: Silvana, 2008.

Annotated “Bartleby”

Andrew Kahn’s annotations for Slate (October 2015): “Bartleby, the Scrivener: A[n interactive, annotated] story of Wall Street