This area represents a long-standing strength of the collection and has developed in tandem with the activities and faculty of the English department. It has been consistently developed and enhanced by key acquisitions and donations. Our holdings in historical English literature range from manuscript facsimiles of medieval authors such as Geoffrey Chaucer to early modern printed editions of Shakespeare, Milton and Dryden. The collection is rich in the the works of eighteenth-century authors like Lawrence Sterne, on through the centuries down to James Joyce and the authors of the Irish Renaissance.
Works composed by the earliest American authors are reflected in the Parkman Dexter Howe Library of New England literature, which comprises more than 4,000 volumes of literature, poetry and music composed by New England authors, c. 1650-1950, with particular strength in the nineteenth-century works. The Howe Library also holds select annotated books and drafts by its authors. American authors on the national level are reflected more broadly from the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.
The Rare Book collection holds a dedicated and growing modern poetry collection, with particular strengths in the authors and presses of the Irish literary revival. Our holdings in these areas intersect with a number of the other collections in SASC, notably the PK Yonge Library and the Literary Manuscripts Collection, which contain significant manuscript materials from Florida authors, as well as broader holdings of contemporary writers from the state.
Even though this area is in some ways the most traditional of our collecting areas, it continues to reward research in many different areas. A recent exploration of the History of Queer Literature has provided examples of pre-twentieth-century literature around the subject of gender transition, and will provide a frame for further development in the future.
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An ongoing project to describe and collect historical works on the subject of gender dynamics and human sexuality, from classical antiquity to the present day.
Donated by Joan and Melvyn New, these books and materials showcase the development and experimentation in the English novel.