Welcome to the Bleak History Archives Website. Students have cataloged different objects from the 1853 Collection of the archives at Southern New Hampshire University and distributed them on this WordPress site. The importance of these Victorian archival items is rooted in the historical context they provide, especially related to the 1850s, the time Charles Dickens was writing Bleak House. Through reading the analyses of these artifacts, hopefully you will be able to understand the significance of rare items and their connections to the past.

Included in this online archive are periodicals, photographs taken during the mid-1800s, popular non-fiction works, a serial version of Bleak House, and an adapted version titled Dame Durden from Bleak House created by American publishers. By clicking on the links provided in the menu, you will be able to read curator notes on various objects in the collection.


Nicole Benjamin
Alyssa Cass
Briana Collins
Amanda Cullen
Melanie Friese
Christina Gambon
Dahvin Greenfield
Corina Hillsgrove
Elizabeth Holland
Erin Lafond
Jesse Mallory
Cody Paul
Ashley Vanat

Dr. Susan E. Cook

About This Project:

This website is the product of a class project for a Seminar in British Literature course at Southern New Hampshire University (SNHU). This class had an emphasis on book history and the use of archival items for primary sources in literary research. With the building of a new library on SNHU’s Manchester campus this year, 2014, the university was able to provide a space for archive materials.

This class had a focus on Charles Dickens’ Bleak House and the university’s newly established archive collection, the 1853 Collection, composed of materials relating to the novel and its publication. Exercising their knowledge of archival studies and book history, the class created this website to provide more context and information on materials in the 1853 Collection.


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