Midwestern State’s Hardin Administration Building

Welcome to MSU’s Social Life of Books site. This research project is sponsored by Midwestern State University and the Council of Public Liberal Arts Colleges Council of Public Liberal Arts Colleges (COPLAC). The participants were chosen to conduct research through an online course titled the Social Life of Books. Seven teams from COPLAC universities met weekly to collaborate on their own research projects and provide assistance if needed.

The authors of this site, Brittany Williams and Loganne Featherston, are both undergraduate students from Midwestern State University in Wichita Falls. They designed a final project that would dig into the different aspects of what could be considered a book’s “life,” it’s history, it’s previous owners, the author, the publication, and the bibliography (how it was made). Usually when discussing books, the content is what’s focused upon as opposed to it’s material history. The intention of this course and project was to break this barrier and study the many facets of a book’s physical history.  Loganne and Brittany had the unique opportunity to work with a collection of rare first editions of great works such as Uncle Tom’s Cabin, The Whale and Tale of Two Cities. They wanted this project to go beyond who owned this book and why. The three topics they researched for this project were a book’s physical history, it’s history as a possession and the book’s own social history. The book’s physical history falls under the bibliography tab on this site. This tab covers how 19th century books were made along with specific examples from Nolan Moore’s Collection. The tab labeled Nolan Moore discusses his incredible collection along with his life in connection to it. The publication vs. auction site tab offers a visual representation of a book’s social history by showing the distance between where a book was published and where Nolan Moore acquired it.

For questions or comments on this site, you can contact either Loganne or Brittany at MSUMooreProj@gmail.com.