Carr, Glynis. "Preface." The Online Archive of Nineteenth-Century U.S. Women's Writings. Ed. Glynis Carr. Online. Internet. Posted: Summer 1997. http://www.facstaff.bucknell.edu/gcarr/19cUSWW/preface.html.


Preface

The Online Archive of Nineteenth-Century U.S. Women's Writings is a collection of new scholarly editions of nineteenth-century U.S. women's writings and resources for continued research about them. Some of the primary texts reproduced here are well-known classics, while others have been out of print since their original publication in the 19th century. The major purpose of The Archive was to provide students an opportunity to work on projects in literary publishing and web design while, hopefully, providing a service to the general reader and to teachers of literature and history who wish to use these pages for study and classroom use.

The Online Archive of Nineteenth-Century U.S. Women's Writings served as a laboratory for teaching students at Bucknell University the principles and practices of textual editing. In addition to developing the familiar skills of literary research and criticism, students contributing to The Archive learn about the processes by which publishers prepare texts for readers and thus gained valuable professional skills, including some technological ones that normally make but a shadowy appearance in the literature curriculum.

Between 1997 and 2001, The Online Archive of Nineteenth-Century U.S. Women's Writings was a website-in-process. The site was continually updated as contributions paseds through the editing process and were made available online. The Archive was inaugurated with the publication of some of the abolitionist writings of Lydia Maria Child, an important author who is just now receiving the critical recognition she has so richly deserved, in large part through the efforts of her biographer and foremost critic Carolyn Karcher. This fascinating collection of short fiction, drama, poetry, and familiar essays was first published in the most important of the abolitionist gift annuals, The Liberty Bell, between 1838 and 1858. These writings should be studied along with such works as Child's famous Appeal in Favor of That Class of Americans Called Africans (1833). These abolitionist texts continue to move readers deeply and raise provocative questions about the political power of art, the role of "white" people in the struggle against racism, and the intersection of gender with race, class, and nation.



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