Projects & activities

Projects & activities

Ongoing projects

The Victorian Publishing Industry

Household Words: Professional Women’s Writing in Domestic Magazines 1850 – 1900

This is Dr Marrisa Joseph’s current research project which aims to explore how women circumvented gender cultural and social barriers to become respected writers and earn a living from selling their literature. Domestic writing (books and articles on cooking, fashion, etiquette, etc.) enabled more women to have a space in the publishing industry, and granted them some editorial power. Drawing on archival documents and periodical publications, the project examines editors and writers such as Willa Cather (1873 – 1947) editor of Home Monthly and Isabella Beeton (1836 – 1865) founder of The Englishwoman’s Domestic Magazine first published in 1860. Beeton went on to became an authority on cooking and domestic home management and her book Mrs Beeton’s Household Management is still in print today. This research project has received funding from the Barnett Foundation.

Our archives

The University of Reading holds many important international business archives, including those of WH Smith, Huntley and Palmer, Woolworths and leading publishers and printers.

For a full listing of our Special Collections, please visit the archive index.

Additionally, the University holds the papers of individuals such as Lyndall Urwick, Professor John Dunning and Professor Alan Rugman. What is more, large numbers of international business records may be found in the University’s Museum of English Rural Life (MERL). These include Sutton Seeds Ltd and the engineering company John Fowler and Co (Leeds) Ltd.

Past projects