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Starting in the spring of 2020, I began working with a paid undergraduate research assistant (Rachel Oliver, paid with funds from the Office of Research Services and Sponsored Programs of Georgia Southern University) to identify the women printers in the census.  Women worked as typesetters, editors, financial backers, and booksellers--in every sector of the printing business--but were not always identified by name in the business.  

This work is still in progress!  Check back here for:

  • a list of women involved in the printing of the books in the census, with basic information like life dates, kinds of work they did, etc.

  • analysis of the networks in which these women participated--their birth and marital families, their co-workers, their competition, etc.

  • analysis of the specialties in which women are represented (subjects, special kinds of printing like music or cartography, etc.)

  • brief bio sketches of women printers

Here's a taste:

  • I've identified, either by their printing information or via some sleuthing, about 75 printers that were certainly women (a little over 7% of the printers in the census), and another 81 shops where women probably or possibly worked (nearly another 9%).

  • The women were not just wives of printers, as you might suspect: they were also daughters, sisters, and mothers.

  • Some inherited and ran shops in their own names; many printed as "widow of" their late husbands.

  • Quick analysis suggests that women printed the same kinds of books as men did, in the same languages.

  • Many of the names of these women are lost, but we are going to pull together biographies and images of those we can find.

  • So far, we've made some progress with French and Spanish printers.  Soon, I will post some brief biographies.

© 2018-20 by Kathleen Comerford. Proudly created with Wix.com

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