Many of you will have noticed the new exhibition on the lower ground floor of Aldham Robarts Library. Titled ‘Femorabilia’, the display is an exhibition of women and girls’ popular fiction during the twentieth century. It runs until 27th February, so there is still plenty of time to catch it.
The Femorabilia Collection is a response to concerns about preserving the ephemera of popular fiction. Its origins lie in a relationship with the scholarly interests of the Association for Research in Popular Fictions, which held many of its conferences and study days at Liverpool John Moores University between 1996 and 2008. The core of the collection was acquired by Dr Mel Gibson of Northumbria University, a specialist in picture books, the study of childhood, comics and girl’s story papers. It was used as a teaching collection by students on the Media and Cultural Studies programme for seminar work on popular culture and narrative media. Additions such as the war time publication of Picturegoer have contributed to other research informed teaching on the programme.
The collection, now housed in Special Collections & Archives at Liverpool John Moores University actively seeks examples of women’s and girls’ magazines to expand the range and scope of material available to students, staff and external researchers. ARPF believes that such a collection should be available to allow researchers and students to challenge historical accounts of magazines which carried serial fiction. Access to such primary sources will also allow them to understand, apply and develop concepts and ideas such as the “reading career” of women readers who, during the twentieth century, made their way through age stratified fiction from adventure to romance.
For more information about the collection, please contact the LJMU Archivist.