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Matthew Shaw
Curator, British Library
Interests: American Studies, History, French Revolution, Digital Research, Exhibitions
Recent Activity
Many thanks, Grace. I've updated the link, and look forward to your post! Matthew
Phil, The drafts of Wide Sargasso Sea are held by the Manuscripts dept. at Add MS 57857 Contents: JEAN RHYS PAPERS. Vol. II (ff. 179). Autograph and typescript drafts of Wide Sargasso Sea (1966), arranged in the order of the finished novel, but incomplete; 1964, n.d. At the end of the autograph draft of the final chapter of Part II, the author notes (f. 140), 'The rest of the book can be dictated. I will get it done somehow.' These are followed (ff. 153-179) by heavily revised page proofs, the final page missing, of the section of the novel published in Art and Literature , No. 1 (Lausanne, 1964). For a discussion of the arrangement of this volume, see R. Webb, 'Swimming the Wide Sargasso Sea: The Manuscripts of Jean Rhys's Novel', B.L.J. 14, no. 2, (1988), pp. 165-177.
Thanks, Girlinthe I should have mentioned that I was issued with a set of the foliation rules, along with the Royal Historical Society's Book of Dates on my arrival...
Thanks Ian. That leads to a whole other blog post...
Thanks Margaret. Forsyth's MSS notes for his History (and a range of other Hudson Lowe materials relating to the incarceration of Boney on St Helena) can be consulted in the MSS reading room (
Toggle Commented Oct 21, 2011 on Napoleon - du pain, du vin … at Untold lives blog
Thanks Katrina. I shouldn't blog while jetlagged...
Phil adds: You’re quite right, I shouldn’t forget. Thank you for the reminder that I took my eye off the ball! Fortunately I managed not to forget Canada’s ‘birthday’ this year, which is an achievement as I am terrible with birthdays… Phil
Toggle Commented Dec 6, 2010 on Happy Thanksgiving at American Collections blog
Indeed. We missed it this year, but I'm sure that our Canadian curator will post on le Jour de l'Action de grâce in Oct 2011! Perhaps we should have mentioned it here, too:
Toggle Commented Dec 6, 2010 on Happy Thanksgiving at American Collections blog
Hi Karen. Thanks for stopping by. How did you find the exhibition? Suggestions for additions/improvements welcome!
Toggle Commented Dec 3, 2010 on What am I doing here? at Growing Knowledge
Teuce from the Americas Collections!
Toggle Commented Nov 19, 2010 on Some corner of a foreign field at DACH
Hi Ruchbah, not over-reacting at all; 140 characters encourages that sort of register, after all. I think I know what you mean - for one thing, some of the questions are a little provocative, which I suppose they have to be as the web is quite noisy, and many people's instinct, mine included, would be to strongly disagree (and argue that librarians, curators, and library catalogues, need to make the case well and as widely as possible). On the other hand, quite a few people have actually said this to me, and to be honest, when checking a title or doing some other sorts of searches, a web search is quicker and easier than an OPAC (for example, my boss and I were just trying to recall a title of a book, and it came up quicker on google than it would on our integrated catalogue). I don't think we can deny that because we are so used to searching in that 'white box', we shouldn't have to think hard about why we naturally _have_ to go to a catalogue as well. The model has clearly affected the software behind My hunch is that there's a strong case for making the records available here more prominent in the search engines we all use, rather than requiring people to go somewhere more 'walled' (although there are very very excellent reasons for them doing so). Can we have both? As you say, at least it has got us reflecting a little bit. I'm intrigued now to see what the answer is (and the preview of the visualisation makes me think it will look very nice, whatever it says)
Toggle Commented Oct 8, 2010 on BBC/BL survey site at Growing Knowledge
Well spotted, Gill. 'twas grown in Monticello by TJ, and is noted in his Notes on Virginia.
Look forward to seeing a CUL blog from you soon! And Welles also messed up with his Swiss history. The place was hardly peaceful from the Swabian Wars onwards (but then, where was?)
Toggle Commented Jul 26, 2010 on The Third Man, or the last post at DACH
Thanks Jon. Reminded me that we've purchased a few Draper items over the years, most recently being the 2004 edition of his 'Adventures of the Communist manifesto'
“Epsom salts brewed up with liquorice, gentian root, camomile and ginger” should be supplied on the next Tweed Run!
Toggle Commented May 14, 2010 on To purge or not to purge at Sport and Society
Speaking of acknowledgements, this bears a viewing:
Like the Dude, we're still out there...
Wot no keef? We could all head to the Boogaloo afterwards.
Toggle Commented Apr 19, 2010 on Celebrities at American Collections blog
" " ... the building of the National library is safe, the shelves and holdings have shifted...we will prevail ... our building is the only one standing in the whole area... I have not yet been able to locate all the personel, half of them are safe we keep on checking we will keep you posted." - Francoise Thybulle
Toggle Commented Jan 19, 2010 on Haiti on my mind at American Collections blog
Hi Dorian, good to hear from you. Latest on the earthquake in Haïti from IFLA and the global library community, including links to the Francoise Thybulle, the National Library director's posting on Facebook and photographs:
Toggle Commented Jan 19, 2010 on Haiti on my mind at American Collections blog
Thanks for your message. I enjoyed your blog - I'll pass on to our Africa curator, Best, M.S.
Toggle Commented Dec 21, 2009 on Speakin' O' Christmas at American Collections blog
And I should probably add that the Princeton Rare Book Division has a great blog at
Thanks Neil, there's some useful stuff on Grove, too.
Toggle Commented Dec 4, 2009 on Good Morning To All at American Collections blog
Happy to have any excuse to have a read of the Courant...
Thanks Jamie. Funnily enough, the NESTA talk wondered if in the future there would be Professors of Social Networks Studies and PhDs on Twitter; as we know the future is already here.