One of the things that I found most useful from the module in Historical Bibliography that I took at Aberystwyth twenty years ago was the extensive indicative reading list that our tutor, John Turner, gave us. He indicated on it the texts that he had used to prepare lectures and seminars, so it was easy for us to see what we might want to read while we were studying, and, of course, Gaskell was our core text, which we were recommended to buy. Having focused on the sixteenth and nineteenth centuries for my essay choices, I found John’s old reading list really helpful the first time I was working eighteenth century materials as a practitioner, some ten years later.
When I was asked to take on the development and teaching of the equivalent course at UCL, I followed John’s example, and created a similarly extensive reading list for students. So perhaps it’s little surprise that, despite good intentions, it has taken until now to transfer from a series of pdfs to our online reading list system. Spurred on by my upcoming sabbatical, during which the excellent Helen O’Neill will lead the class, I’ve had a final push to publish it online. The latest version of the reading list software allows for sections and also for the use of various levels of recommendation: from “recommended for student purchase” (Gaskell) through “essential” (for the compulsory seminar readings) and “recommended” (which I’ve used to indicate materials I used to write the lectures) to “optional” (for materials that I know are useful, and which students may want to read for interest, for their negotiated essay topic, or, years later, for working with new collections).
I hope the new presentation of the list, with the direct links to the catalogue and SFX links to materials for which UCL holds online subscriptions, will be helpful for the class of 2015-16.
If you’re interested in seeing the list, it’s online here now, although, no doubt I’ll make a few tweaks once I’ve proof-read it next week (with, hopefully, enough distance from time of construction to spot the inevitable typos). INSTG012 Historical Bibliography runs throughout the Autumn term on Monday afternoons.