Placing Papers Update: The Black and Latino Experience in the Literary Archive Market

Amy Hildreth Chen


Placing Papers: The American Literary Archive Market (University of Massachusetts Press, 2020) discussed the post–World War II trade in authors’ papers. One finding of Placing Papers was how well Black writers did on the market as measured by the Association of Research Libraries (ARL) rank of their papers’ housing institutions and the frequency with which Black authors were paid for their materials. However, this boon for Black writers only occurred once colleges and universities sought to improve the diversity of their holdings. In this update to Placing Papers, the author expands her data set to include more authors of color to verify her original findings for Black writers and determine the comparative success of Latino authors. The study determined that while Black writers indeed do just as well or better than white authors on the archive market, Latino writers remain understudied and undercollected.

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