Primary Source Research with Victorian Periodicals
January 31, 2012
Rare periodicals can be a rich source for research in history, literature, and the visual arts. The Victorian Literature collection contains many English periodicals, and like modern magazines, they were aimed at a wide variety of audiences and interests: politics, current events, art, literature, society gossip, fashion, and religion are all represented in the periodicals of the time.
For a class examining domesticity in Victorian culture and literature, Professor Jamie Horrocks has designed a research and writing assignment using rare journals from the Victorian Collection. Students choose and examine a volume from a journal with domestic-related content and write a scholarly introduction to the journal, its scope, intended audience, and general contents. The students also analyze a particular type of content found in the volume (for example, a cooking column or fashion plates). Then, the students use this information to compose an analytical essay based on what they have observed about the periodical, its authors, content, and audience.