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Graduate students are invited to submit essays for the 2008 VanArsdel Prize for the best graduate student essay on, about, or extensively using Victorian periodicals. Manuscripts should be 15-25 pages and should not have appeared in print. The winner receives a plaque, $300, and publication of the prize essay in VPR. Send paper submissions by mail, postmarked by 1 April 2008, to Kathryn Ledbetter, Department of English, 601 University Drive, Texas State University, San Marcos, Texas 78666-4616. Please include a description of current status in graduate school.

The Research Society for Victorian Periodicals is very pleased to award the annual Robert Colby Scholarly Book Prize for a scholarly book that most advances the understanding of the nineteenth-century British newspaper and/or periodical press. All books exploring periodicals of the period are eligible (including single-author monographs, edited collections, and editions) as long as they have a publication date of 2007. The winner will receive a plaque and a monetary award of up to $3,000, and will be invited to speak at the RSVP conference at Roehampton University in London (4-6 July 2008). The prize was made possible by a generous gift by Vineta Colby in honor of Robert Colby, a long and devoted member of RSVP and a major scholar in the field of Victorian periodicals. Previous winners of the Colby Prize are David Finkelstein, Ed., Print Culture and the Blackwood Tradition (2006), Linda Hughes, Graham R.: Rosamund Marriott Watson, Woman of Letters (2007), and Peter Morton, The Busiest Man in London: Grant Allen and the Writing Trade,1875-1900 (2007). For more information, please contact Jennifer Phegley ( [End Page 358]

The 40th Annual Conference of the Research Society for Victorian Periodicals will be held 4-5 July 2008 at Roehampton University in London, U.K. The conference theme will be "Characters of the Press." "Character" was the term commonly used of the Victorian press for what today we might call the "brand personality" of a periodical, its distinctive features as a commodity in the marketplace. But how was this character created? Some periodicals identified themselves as people (one thinks of Mr Punch, or the less voluble human figures on many a masthead), or with people (Howitt's Journal, Reynolds's Miscellany, Blackwood's, or perhaps a reliable stable of authors, or a named editor). Many sought to improve the character of readers by offering heroes or heroines for emulation. Some preferred a recurrent set of textual practices, such as format, layout, size, range of departments. Some characters were generated through the targeting of specific audiences such as grocers or suffragettes, radical workers or young imperialists. Others were prompted by the occasions on which they expected to be encountered, for reading en famille on Sundays, over weekday breakfast or while commuting. And then there is the vital question of how the press in general (or sections of it) were characterised by those within and outside it: what metaphors were mobilised and why? This conference, then, offers a wide and varied route into the exciting and still only partially explored territory of Victorian periodicals. For more information about the 2008 RSVP Conference, contact Andrew King at Roehampton University is located in southwest London, 45 minutes by public transport from central London. Campus based accommodation is available for the conference.

Back issues of Victorian Periodicals Review and Victorian Periodicals Newsletter will be available in fully searchable digitized format through JSTOR within two years.

Eileen Curran's additions and corrections to the Wellesley Index are now located at

A newly revised edition of Rosemary VanArsdel's guide, "Victorian Periodicals: Aids to Research," can be found on at the following address: This selected and annotated bibliography now covers 176 published works of interest to students of the nineteenth-century press.

Many thanks to VPR Texas State University student intern Sarah McNeely for her assistance on the Fall and Winter 2007 issues. [End Page 359]

VPR is available online as a member of Project Muse.

Please consult the RSVP Web page for more information about the Research Society for Victorian Periodicals...


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