January 21, 2022

First-Edition Jane Austen Novels Added to Washington State University Libraries’ Collection

From Washington State University:

Washington State University’s Manuscripts, Archives, and Special Collections has acquired first editions of the Jane Austen novels “Emma,” “Mansfield Park,” “Northanger Abbey,” and “Persuasion,” thanks to the bequest of WSU alumna Lorraine (Kure) Hanaway, Class of 1949.

“Jane Austen is one of the most loved authors in all of literature. The WSU Libraries had no first editions of her work until now,” said Trevor Bond, associate dean for digital initiatives and special collections. “The books are gorgeous and will support our work to collaborate with WSU faculty to introduce primary sources into classes and research.


“Emma,” “Northanger Abbey” and “Persuasion” are largely in their original state, Bond said, with contemporary bindings, bookplates from former owners, and inscriptions. “Emma” and “Mansfield Park” are each published in three volumes, also called “triple deckers.”

“These triple-decker novels were all the rage in Victorian England,” he said. “They were expensive for individuals to buy, but many could join a subscription library, paying a small fee to borrow books. Publishing the novels in three volumes allowed more readers to borrow individual volumes and quickly return them.”

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About Gary Price

Gary Price (gprice@mediasourceinc.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.