The nineteenth century witnessed an explosion of printed matter in Europe, as new technologies such as the steam press and new distribution infrastructures such as the railway produced and circulated printed books in unprecedented numbers. But manuscript was not simply superseded by print. Manuscript texts circulated alongside printed matter and intersected with it in a variety of ways. Mounted in conjunction with the seminar ‘British Romanticism and the Survival of Manuscript Culture’ led by Prof Michelle Levy (Simon Fraser University) on April 3, 2009, this exhibition traces some of those interactions. Displayed together, the manuscript and printed texts in this exhibition survey a nineteenth-century media ecology in which script and print fed off each other in unexpected ways, generating new cultural possibilities through their mutual interactions.

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Circulating in Manuscript Writing and Sharing Script and Print

Curated by Benjamin Barootes and Tom Mole

A project of the Interacting with Print research group, an FQRSC-funded initiative at McGill University and the Université de Montréal, and Rare Books and Special Collections, McGill University.