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“Yes, this is my album” Victorian Collections of Scraps, Signatures, and Seaweed

Autograph Albums in Archives

For although I am a Book, yet it is unjust to say “there’s nothing in’t,” when so many of my pages are filled with charming poetry and unrivalled paintings: and then, again, as to seeing myself “in print,” I have a complete horror of it.

The Adventures of an Album (1831)

The above quote is from a story, written by Louisa Henrietta Sheridan, that was printed—just prior to the Victorian era—in an English literary annual called The Comic Offering, or Ladies’ Melange of Literary Mirth. The story is told from the point of view of an autograph album, and the personified album insists that its matter does not need to be printed to be of value.1

Similarly, many researchers today have recognized the cultural value of autograph albums. Like scrapbooks, autograph albums have become popular acquisitions in many archives. For a closer look at the Victorian autograph albums that have found their way to the University of Victoria Libraries Special Collections and University Archives, see the exhibit’s featured examples:

Or, you can continue to the next section of the exhibit:

  1. Sheridan 251-85 Back ↑
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