Libraries and Canon-Formation: The Case of English in the Collections of the Library of the Faculty of Humanities, Lisbon University

By Alcinda Pinheiro, Fernanda Santos and Pedro Estácio.

Published by The International Journal of the Book

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Article: Electronic Free Download

The project for researching the role played by libraries in canon-formation (namely through their policies regarding the creation, organization, preservation, and utilization of the collections) will be presented and discussed. We selected the Library of the Faculty of Humanities, Lisbon University, a modern academic library, created in 1859, by royal decree of D. Pedro V, following his canonical choice. Actually, the two contemporary rulers of new Britannia—Prince Albert, his cousin, and Queen Victoria—held this king in high consideration for his outstanding contribution to Portuguese modernisation. Representing various fields of study, the collections were decisive to canon-formation in the Faculty of Humanities. Thus, we have been trying to answer the following questions: who has been creating, organizing, preserving, and utilizing the collections, from the mid-nineteenth century onwards? When, where and how? Presently, we are studying the collections in English, namely the works belonging or referring to the long nineteenth century. Richard Garnett’s “The International Library of Famous Literature” (London, 1899) is our first case-study. The anthology determined the Western literary, cultural and visual canon at the turning of the century, as evidenced by comparing it to the Portuguese and Spanish editions, published at the beginning of the twentieth century.

Keywords: Canon-Formation, Libraries, Heritage, Reception, English, Comparative Studies

The International Journal of the Book, Volume 10, Issue 2, pp.87-95. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 620.294KB).

Prof. Alcinda Pinheiro

Associate Professor, English Studies Department, Faculty of Humanities, University of Lisbon Centre for English Studies, Lisbon University, Lisbon, Portugal

Associate Professor of English, Faculty of Humanities, Lisbon University. Vice-Director and researcher of the University of Lisbon Centre for English Studies (ULICES), coordinator of the Project Libraries and Canon-Formation developed in this Centre.

Fernanda Santos

Librarian, Faculty Library, Faculty of Humanities, Lisbon University, Portugal

Librarian, Responsible for the Department of Acquisitions and Collections Management, Faculty of Humanities, Lisbon University and researcher of ULICES in the Project Libraries and Canon-Formation developed in this Centre.

Pedro Estácio

Head of the Library Division, Library Division, Faculty of Humanities, University of Lisbon and University of Lisbon Centre for English Studies, Lisbon University, Lisbon, Portugal

Librarian, Head of the Library Division, Faculty of Humanities, Lisbon University. Researcher of ULICES and co-coordinator of the Project Libraries and Canon-Formation developed in this Centre.

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