- Purchase/rental options available:
This essay considers how changes in nineteenth-century cataloguing practices impacted book history. Under Antonio Panizzi, the British Museum transitioned from an idiosyncratic printed catalogue of its print collections to an iterative all-manuscript catalogue of print items that anticipated later card and digital indexing systems. The new catalogue was part of an explicitly political effort to liberalize the history of print. In this light, I read Virginia Woolf’s A Room of One’s Own (1929) less as a critique than a meditation on the radical new modes of historical analysis made possible by the technology.