Hello everyone, my name is Olivia Cotton Cornwall. I am very excited to join the Library History Round Table blog team as a new volunteer!
I’m a master’s student in history at the University of Alberta in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, where I study the history of reading, readers, and libraries in eighteenth-century Britain. I will be assisting the LHRT team in sharing news regarding international library history from Canada, Britain, Ireland, West Indies, Australia, New Zealand, and more.
I first became interested in British library history in my undergraduate degree at the University of Calgary, where I wrote my thesis on libraries and middle class identity. Since then, I have been working on expanding my knowledge. My master’s research has taken a transnational approach to library history. It focuses on libraries and other literary institutions in the British Atlantic world from 1750-1820 and engages with a wide verity of themes, including reading, the book trade, gender, race, and space. I plan to continue my academic career by pursuing a PhD in the near future.
Books, reading, bookstores, and libraries are all integral to our daily lives, so much so, that we often don’t give them much notice, but library history and the history of the book offer unique ways to discuss a wide variety of themes and ideas that continue to be relevant and pressing in our modern lives. I hope to share my interests and passion with blog readers and inspire them to look at the power of libraries, books, and reading in a new light.