Thursday, January 04, 2007

Report on Lab Reports

What's a plan if you don't change it a few times on the way to fruition? After weighing the costs in time and hassle of trying to put the new Lab Reports together as a DIY 'zine, I've decided to take the project to Lulu, which seems to be the most inexpensive and flexible of the low-to-no-initial-cost print on demand operations (hardcover options, ebook options, audio download options, etc). My goal with this project is to make as much material available in as inexpensive and usable a form as possible. I expect volumes to range between 350 and 500 pages in length, and to be a large, 8.5 x 11 format. Price tag: somewhere under $25 for the largest, thickest of the paperbacks.

Looking around my living room (and my office, and my office at the university, and my storage unit), the virtues of bindings are immediately apparent. Even in file cabinets, photocopies and print-outs are messy. Original papers, pamphlets and such are equally hard to work with. If the end result of some of these volumes is only that I can reduce some of the clutter in my life, I'll count it worth the time. But I think the payoff is going to be much greater than that.

Report #1 will be devoted to land reformer Joshua King Ingalls, and will include at least the following items:
  • Reminiscences of an Octogenarian in the Fields of Industrial and Social Reform (1897)
  • Work and Wealth (1878)
  • Economic Equities (1887)
  • "Photography" (1850)
  • "The Exodus of Labor" (1851)
  • “Books—Their Sphere and Influence" (1852)
  • "Labor, Wages, and Capital: Division of Profits Scientifically Considered" (1873)
  • contributions to The Twentieth Century
  • contributions to The American Socialist (1877)
  • contributions and debates from Liberty (1882-1895), including "Henry George Examined"
  • "Pulpit Portraits: Rev. J. K. Ingalls" (1848)
  • S. B. Brittan, "J. K. Ingalls" (1874)
  • information and illustrations on patents and inventions
  • clippings and notes relating to Ingalls' career as a Universalist minister
  • working bibliography and notes for further research
  • annotations and related texts

We'll see how many pages this comes to, once the annotations for Reminiscences are complete. I'm working on scanning Social Wealth: the Sole Factors and Exact Ratios in its Acquirement and Apportionment (1885), but I'm inclined to think that the soundest strategy is to build a second volume around that work, including the articles from The Spiritual Age and The Univercoelum, and whatever else can be collected from the Fair Play publications (Social Wealth and whatever articles followed it) and miscellaneous sources. If anyone has access to Periodical Business Crises (1878) or Land and Laborer (?), or anything that doesn't appear to be covered in my lists, I would love to hear from you.

I would like to do 8-12 of these volumes this year, but we'll play it by ear. I have quite a backlog of material. Report #2 is likely to be a Stephen Pearl Andrews/Edward B. Freeland collection, including at least:

  • Andrews, The Science of Universology (from The Index)
  • Andrews, The Great American Crisis (1863-4)
  • Andrew and Freeland on universal language (from Continental Monthly)
  • Freeland on the science of history (from Continental Monthly)
  • Andrews and the Gwynne-Sawyer Pressure Engine debate (articles from Scientific American and elsewhere)

There is so much uncollected material by and about Andrews, that it's impossible to do much more than scoop up a good-sized handful of material that is interesting, but little-known.

Beyond that, the obvious pick is Alfred B. Westrup. I have made most of the material I have available online, but The New Philosophy of Money desparately needs annotation, and the addition of related texts, Sex Slavery still needs to be tracked down and scanned, and it would be really nice to get all of the texts already in-hand collected in one handy volume. Herman Kuehn's pseudonymous Thoughts of a Fool and William Henry Van Ornum's Why Government at All? are also high on the list of works that need the treatment. I have about a dozen volumes tentatively outlined, including a couple without obviously anarchist connections, but first things first.

Does Report #1 sound tasty to anyone?

1 comment:

Matt Jenny said...

"Does Report #1 sound tasty to anyone?"

Yes!