About David Whitesell

David Whitesell is a curator in the Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections Library at UVa and a faculty member at Rare Book School, where he teaches courses in pre-1800 printed books and descriptive bibliography.

John Dunlap, Charlottesville’s First Printer

The Philadelphia printer John Dunlap (1747-1812) is best known for having printed the so-called “Dunlap Broadside”—the first printing of the Declaration of Independence—of which the Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections Library is privileged to possess two of the 26 … Continue reading

On View Now: Fact, Fiction, Forgery: Thomas Chatterton and Literary Invention

We are pleased to announce the opening of our latest First Floor Gallery exhibition, “Fact, Fiction, Forgery: Thomas Chatterton and Literary Invention,” which will remain on view through September 1, 2017. This exhibition, curated by David Whitesell, traces Chatterton’s career … Continue reading

John O’Brien’s Literature Incorporated Wins the Louis Gottschalk Prize

It is one thing to write a book. It is quite another for that book to receive widespread acclaim from one’s peers, as is the case with Literature Incorporated: The Cultural Unconscious of the Business Corporation, 1650-1850, the most recent … Continue reading

Researching William Butler Yeats in Special Collections

(Note: This is the second of three posts by students enrolled this past Fall in ENNC 3240: Professor Andrew Stauffer’s course in Victorian Poetry. The three students–Heather Jorgenson [read her post here], Ann Nicholson, and Eva Alvarado–elected to participate in … Continue reading

Robert Browning as Seen from Special Collections

(Note: This is the first of three posts by students enrolled this past Fall in ENNC 3240: Professor Andrew Stauffer’s course in Victorian Poetry. The three students–Heather Jorgenson, Ann Nicholson, and Eva Alvarado–elected to participate in one of the U.Va. … Continue reading

The 51st U.Va. Student Book Collecting Contest

Since 1948 the Bibliographical Society of the University of Virginia has been pleased to sponsor a book collecting contest open to all U.Va. students. Originally held annually, and now biennially, the contest offers all students a chance to showcase their … Continue reading

New Exhibition Now Open: “Fearsome Ink”

Some readers will know that the Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections Library possesses what is considered the world’s finest collection of English Gothic novels. From approximately 1765 to 1830 English readers eagerly embraced a new genre of “Gothic” fiction: … Continue reading

Lafayette at U. Va.

This summer the French frigate Hermione—a reconstruction of the vessel which, in 1780, brought the Marquis de Lafayette back to the United States with welcome news of French aid, and which then helped to secure final victory at Yorktown in … Continue reading