A New Information to the British Library’s Holdings – •

[Many thanks to Peter Jordens for bringing this item to our attention.] Naomi Oppenheim (British Library, 16 June 2022) writes about her work Caribbean Publishing: A Selective Bibliography of British Library Holdings, 1800-1974, the primary Caribbean-focused bibliographic information on publishing in Britain, which was printed in June 2022 by the Eccles Centre on the British Library. Listed here are excerpts:

Caribbean Publishing: A Selective Bibliography of British Library Holdings, 1800-1974 is the surprising end result of analysis carried out for my doctoral thesis, ‘“Writing the Wrongs”: Caribbean Publishing in Submit-war Britain from a Historic Perspective’. This thesis makes use of publishing as a channel to discover socio-political transformations and the connection between print and politics. The bibliography emerged from what I had initially assumed can be a fast analysis train through which I’d name up a number of nineteenth and twentieth-century Caribbean publications with a view to garner a way of key publishers. It quickly turned a way more bold process!

In essence, I made a decision to go on a mission to find all the things within the British Library collections that was printed in Barbados, British Guiana, Grenada, Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago, between 1800 and their respective independences: 1966, 1970, 1974, 1962 and 1962, excluding Authorities Printing Workplace publications. This entailed inventive navigations of the web catalogue, utilizing a mix of territories, cities and date ranges.

Though the bibliography started as private analysis endeavour for my thesis, doing a PhD Placement with the Eccles Centre on the British Library – the place I labored on the Caribbean Foodways venture – meant that I had time to proceed engaged on it with steering from the Centre’s employees and thus flip it right into a public useful resource. By the tip of the venture, I had tracked down over 500 books, lots of which I had referred to as up and checked out, pushed by the curiosity {that a} sparse catalogue report provokes.

I consider that books are vessels for producing data about historical past, tradition, politics and the nation. My curiosity within the Caribbean publishing panorama as a lens to know societal and cultural shifts motivated me to create an in depth topic index for the bibliography: I needed to know what kinds of books had been being printed, by who, and when. I divided this topic index into 11 classes – together with Cultural, Economics, Geography and Area, Historical past, Literature, Slavery, Journey and Tourism, and Faith – and I gave every of them a number of sub-categories. The index reveals that historical past texts, which had been the preferred style, account for 1 / 4 of all books printed between 1800 and 1974. Likewise, 1 / 4 are literary – poetry, fiction, memoir, folktales and performs.

In addition to aiding British Library customers’ navigation of the Caribbean assortment, this topic index additionally helps us to know historiographical, literary and print tendencies. And there’s 
a listing of greater than 50 digitised gadgets which can be accessible from the consolation of your private home, native library or college.

Publishing was vastly essential in shaping concepts of the Caribbean by means of articulations of historical past, literature and vernacular language: whether or not it’s Frank Cundall’s prolific writing about Jamaican bibliography, biography and historical past, printed by the Institute of Jamaica within the late nineteenth and early-twentieth centuries [Fig. 1], Claude McKay’s Songs of Jamaica (1915) [Fig. 2], or Eric Williams’ self-published Historic Background of Race-Relations within the Caribbean (1955).1 [. . .]

For full article, see https://blogs.bl.uk/americas/2022/06/publishing-in-the-colonial-anglophone-caribbean-a-new-guide-to-the-british-librarys-holdings.html

[Shown above: Fig I: Frank Cudnall, Political and Social Disturbances in the West Indies: A Brief Account and Bibliography. Kingston: Institute of Jamaica, 1906. British Library shelfmark: 09004.bb.14.(2).]


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