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ENG 4355 - Romantic Prose (Hargrave), Archival Project Helps

Help discovering the Armstrong Browning Library's resources for your archival project.


The Armstrong Browning Library's (ABL's) greatest strength is in its materials focusing on the lives and works of Robert and Elizabeth Barrett Browning, including original letters and manuscripts, books from the poets' library, all of the first and many successive editions of their poetry, secondary works and criticisms, their poetry set to music, portraits, and memorabilia too numerous to list. The ABL has the world's largest collection of materials related to the Brownings.

Additionally, the library has developed into a 19th-century research center with substantial book and manuscript collections on the Brownings' circle, 19th-century writers (such as Matthew Arnold, Thomas Carlyle, Eliza Cook, Charles Dickens, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Oliver Wendell Holmes, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, James Russell Lowell, Francis William Newman, John Henry Newman, Christina Rossetti, John Ruskin, and Alfred Lord Tennyson) and on most areas of 19th-century culture.

Archival Project Overview


Your final project will give you an opportunity to develop collaborative research and writing. You will learn how to conduct archival research at the Armstrong Browning Library to develop your argument for your final research paper of the semester. Your final research paper (approx. 8-10 pages) will examine how a particular topic is developed through two texts—one from our course and one from the ABL. The topic will be of your choosing and how you choose to link your two texts may take a variety of shapes. For example, you might examine how debates surrounding the French Revolution appear different in prose and poetry. Or you might examine how the proto-feminist arguments of Mary Wollstonecraft take new form in religious tracts thirty years later. By November, you will have identified the archival object in the ABL that you want to research further in your paper. During the last week of the semester, you will have to opportunity to present this object to the rest of the class during formal presentations. These presentations will serve as not only show-and-tell but also a chance to receive feedback on your research as you finish your papers. Details for this assignment will be available on Canvas.

19th Century Keywords

You have been assigned geographic regions to research. You will be able to find resources on your topics using the modern geographic names. However, you may miss others (especially interesting ones) if you do not stop for a moment and make a list of the words 18th and 19th century English language authors used to describe those geographic areas, the peoples living in those areas, and the languages that those people spoke. Prominent city names (and any variations over time) may also be useful.

Researching at the Armstrong Browning Library

Prior to your visit, it will be helpful to skim our "Use the Collection" webpage:

If this is your first time using the ABL's materials you will need to fill out a researcher registration form and bring a photo ID with you.

You should also familiarize yourself with the "Regulations Governing Use of Research Materials." And the blog post "Navigating New to You Rare Book & Special Collection Libraries: A Working List of Questions to Ask" may provide insight to conducting research in a special collections reading room.

Friendly reminder, providing at least 2 full business days notice increases the likelihood of all the materials you would like to consult being available to you at a time that is mutually convenient to you and our librarians.


spotlightThis library guide is part of our “spotlight on the disciplines” literacy tier. In this tier you will be introduced to advanced academic research skills. These skills are developed by working with research librarians in upper-level courses specific to their discipline. The spotlight represents the in-depth instruction, library guides, advanced search strategies, and research consultations provided by the special collections librarians and archivists.

University Libraries

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Waco, TX 76798-7148

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