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Scrapbooking – the 19th century version of blogs

Date Released: September 23 2013

The Alverno College History department will host a talk by Ellen Gruber Garvey, author of the book Writing with Scissors: American Scrapbooks from the Civil War to the Harlem Renaissance, on September 25. Her talk will focus on the ways men and women used scrapbooks in the 19th century to speak back to the media and preserve what mattered most to them. From Abraham Lincoln and Susan B. Anthony to everyday Americans, Garvey looks at the people who documented history through scrapbooks. Contending that scrapbooking was a precursor to Google and blogging, she’ll also look at the relationship between 19th century scrapbooking and our own digital habits of today.

In her talk, Garvey will look at a range of scrapbook makers who clipped, arranged, and preserved newspaper articles, creating private histories of major cultural events and “democratic archives” that were often at odds with the version of events presented in the mass media of the time. Topics from the Civil War to women’s rights were addressed and preserved in these historical archives.

The Chipstone Foundation and Alverno College are partnering to bring Garvey to the College. The presentation will take place at 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, September 25 in the Sister Joel Read Conference Center, and is free and open to the public.