The next meeting of the Washington Area Group for Print Culture Studies 2019-2020 series will take place on Friday, March 6th , from 3:30 to 5:00 p.m. in the Rosenwald Room (LJ 205), 2nd floor, Jefferson Building of t​he Library of Congress. Professor Juliette Wells will deliver a talk entitled “A Labor of Love and Friendship: Alberta H. Burke, Averil Hassall, and the Building of a Transatlantic Austen Collection.”

Abstract:For more than forty years, the distinguished American Austen collector Alberta Burke (1906-1975) filed ephemera in a series of ten astonishing scrapbooks. Her most enthusiastic partner in this endeavor was her longtime friend Averil Hassall of Oxfordshire, who contributed clippings, playbills, and extensive handwritten reviews of Austen adaptations on stage and screen.  Recently rediscovered personal letters illuminate for the first time the extent and significance of Mrs. Hassall’s contributions, as well as affording new insight into Mrs. Burke’s motives and practices as a collector.

Brief Biography: 

Juliette Wells is the Elizabeth Conolly Todd Distinguished Professor of English at Goucher College. She is the author of two books on Austen’s historical readers and fans: Reading Austen in America (2017), and Everybody’s Jane: Austen in the Popular Imagination (2011), both for Bloomsbury Academic. For Penguin Classics, she created 200th-anniversary annotated editions of Persuasion (2017) and Emma (2015). As the Jane Austen Society of North America (JASNA) East Coast Traveling Lecturer in 2019-2020, she will address groups in New Jersey, Connecticut, New York, and Halifax, Nova Scotia; she will also give a keynote for the Jane Austen Society of Australia’s biennial conference in June 2020.

Please join us for Dr. Well‘s talk and for dinner afterwards.

The Jefferson Building is located between First and Second Streets, SE in the District of Columbia. Nearest metro stops are Capitol South (blue and orange lines) and Union Station (red line).

For further information, consult the Washington Area Group for Print Culture Studies website at, or contact Sabrina Baron and Eleanor Shevlin at

For their encouragement and support, the Washington Area Group for Print Culture Studies would like to thank Mark Dimunation, Chief of the Rare Book and Special Collections at the Library of Congress and other Library of Congress staff including Michael North, Head, Reference and Reader Services, Rare Book and Special Collections; Stephanie Stillo, Lessing J. Rosenwald Curator; Eric Frazier, Reference Librarian Rare Book and Special Collections. We are also indebted to John Y. Cole,  Library of  Congress Historian and founder of the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress.

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