Exhibit at the Homer D. Babbidge Library at the University of Connecticut, Storrs, as well as a DH project hosted at www.booksasmedicine.com
This exhibit focuses on the therapeutic use of reading during World War I as part of the Library War Service. It highlights the role of Connecticut’s state residents in providing books to the troops during the war, and the work of Connecticut’s military and civilian hospitals in developing the therapeutic use of reading during and after the war. Interactive elements invite visitors to annotate a popular poem among tubercular patients, and encourages visitors to share their own prescriptions for books that can heal during a challenging time. These answers form an archive that suggests the multifarious relationships readers have with their books, and how subjective the prescriptions of books as medicine can be. The online exhibit has been featured on The Scout Report and named an Editor’s Choice by Digital Humanities Now.
This podcast collects oral histories of ordinary readers through interviews. Its stated mission is to present the stories of readers’ lives through the books that have meant the most to them. Chapters reaches thousands of listeners each month, and uses digital platforms (audio, website, media) to foster a community of readers committed to discussing the meaning of reading in their lives. In so doing, the podcast helps create an archive for scholarship on the history of reading.
Audio Shelfie is a digital storytelling project that gives readers a space to tell stories about the roles books play in their lives. We pose questions about reading and collect stories from participants in communities we visit, as well as on our site. Each story is paired with a photo of the storyteller to create an “audio shelfie.” Together, these audio shelfies form libraries of readers’ experiences with books.