Found Object: Three Generations of the MLA Handbook


Location: A collection of used books donated by retired faculty members during the past calendar year.
Object: The MLA Handbook across three editions
Observations: 1) During the past year, several retired faculty members in English have decided to down-size their libraries. When we recently unpacked the boxes of donated books in preparation for sharing them with our current students, we discovered three “generations” of a standard reference work for scholars in English: the MLA Handbook in its first edition (1977), second edition (1984), and third edition (1988).  2) As I shared previously, after discovering publicity for the first edition amongst the papers of Associate Professor Emeritus Michael Donnelly, the current ninth edition offers a wonderful call-back in its cover design to the rainbow colors of the first edition. 3) The second and third editions pictured here do not have a name attached, but inside the cover of this first edition is the name “Wheatley,” a handwritten trace of our recently retired colleague Alison Wheatley.  4) We look forward to sharing the many shelves of donated books — from a range of genres and periods — with our undergraduate and graduate students later this fall!

Karin Westman, Department Head

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