Off the Shelf: David L. Vander Meulen

December 07, 2007

David L. Vander Meulen, professor of English, editor, “Studies In Bibliography, Volume 56,” University of Virginia Press.

The fifty-sixth volume of Studies continues its tradition of presenting a wide range of articles by international scholars on bibliography, textual criticism, and other aspects of the study of books.

The volume opens with a historical consideration of the role of judgment in editing and a prognosis for its future. In a sequel to his 1971 article on the history of book jackets, G. Thomas Tanselle surveys the growing recognition of the importance of jackets over the past thirty-four years and provides a greatly expanded list of pre-1901 examples. Two major studies assess the growing field of book history and offer recommendations for its development. Two others deal with paper: one provides the earliest detailed description of a European paper mill and its manufacturing processes, and another considers the bibliographical implications of changes in papermaking at the beginning of the nineteenth century. Additional articles treat the bibliographical description of early printed music, offer new information about some eighteenth-century poems set to music, analyze the first publication of Shakespeare's plays in small formats, and investigate the role of collaboration in the writings of James Fenimore Cooper and the implications for modern editors.