Research Programs: Fellowships

Period of Performance

1/1/2019 - 12/31/2019

Funding Totals

$60,000.00 (approved)
$60,000.00 (awarded)

Cut/Copy/Paste: A New History of the Book in 17th-Century England

FAIN: FEL-263057-19

Whitney Trettien
University of Pennsylvania (Philadelphia, PA 19104-6205)

Preparation of a digital publication analyzing 17th-century English books that were assembled from texts and images of other printed sources.

Cut/Copy/Paste narrates a new history of the book in early modern England. It does so by examining the bespoke publishing practices of three fringe communities spanning the seventeenth century. These largely forgotten projects resist familiar categories, slipping between the cracks of disciplines; later institutions like the British Library did not know how to catalogue these books. Yet, brought back together here, their scattered remains bear witness to the myriad ways marginalized groups negotiated the restrictive, chaotic media landscapes of the Renaissance. Cut/Copy/Paste stitches together the lives and afterlives of these bespoke publishing projects. It is a hybrid print/digital book, being staged on the Manifold Scholarship platform of University of Minnesota Press. This proposal requests funding to build out and complete the book’s digital components, which include a series of visualizations, datasets, and guided tours through the primary case studies.

Associated Products

Cut/Copy/Paste (Web Resource)
Title: Cut/Copy/Paste
Author: Whitney Trettien
Abstract: Hundreds of digital products have been produced as part of this funded project, ranging from individual images to full digital editions. Rather than upload each individually, which would take a very long time, I have decided to upload a link to the site hosting these resources. Videos, maps, datasets, social networks, computer programs, exhibits, digital images, and digital editions are all included here.
Year: 2019
Primary URL:

Little Gidding Harmonies (Web Resource)
Title: Little Gidding Harmonies
Author: Whitney Trettien
Abstract: The Little Gidding harmonies are a remarkable set of religious books pasted together from the cut-up fragments of printed Bibles and engravings. They were made in England at the household of Little Gidding between 1630 and the early 1640s, mostly by the women of the extended Ferrar family. Together, they make up perhaps the largest extant collection of early modern English women's bookwork. On this website, you can view full editions of two gospel harmonies and one lavishly illustrated edition of Acts of the Apostles and Revelation. In addition, you can browse edited excerpts from a gospel harmony made for King Charles I and a pentateuch concordance made for his son Prince Charles. Each edition links the pasted fragments to their sources when known. You can also browse the library of source prints used to make each concordance and, from there, see how these engravings were cut to make the harmonies.
Year: 2020
Primary URL:
Primary URL Description: A digital network of Little Gidding harmonies, built using Omeka and Neatline.

Susanna Collet's Commonplace (Web Resource)
Title: Susanna Collet's Commonplace
Author: Whitney Trettien
Abstract: This website, built using Digital Mappa, is a digital edition of Susanna Collet's commonplace book, completed circa 1635. It was possibly made as a present for her daughter, Joyce Collet. The Collets were members of the religious household at Little Gidding in the 1630s and 1640s; this manuscript offers a unique glimpse into women's religious reading and practices in early modern England.
Year: 2019
Primary URL:
Primary URL Description: A digital edition of Susanna Collet's commonplace book, made in 1635

Cut/Copy/Paste: Fragments from the History of Bookwork (Book)
Title: Cut/Copy/Paste: Fragments from the History of Bookwork
Author: Whitney Trettien
Abstract: In Cut/Copy/Paste, Whitney Trettien journeys to the fringes of the London print trade to uncover makerspaces and collaboratories where paper media were cut up and reassembled into radical, bespoke publications. Bringing these long-forgotten objects back to life through hand-curated digital resources, Trettien shows how early experimental book hacks speak to the contemporary conditions of digital scholarship and publishing.
Year: 2021
Primary URL:
Primary URL Description: Website for the print book
Secondary URL:
Secondary URL Description: Website for the open access digital version hosted on Manifold
Access Model: open access digital version on Manifold, print copy for sale
Publisher: University of Minnesota Press
Type: Single author monograph
ISBN: 978-1-5179-040
Copy sent to NEH?: No