James Danky

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Danky at Columbia University in 2015

James Danky (born 1947) is an American historian, bibliographer, and culture critic. He is currently a faculty associate at the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Journalism and Mass Communication. Danky is best known as an advocate for collecting alternative and small-press publications during his tenure at the Wisconsin Historical Society.


Danky received an AB in history and philosophy from Ripon College (1970) and a MA in Library Science at the University of Wisconsin (1973). He served as the Newspapers and Periodicals Librarian for the Wisconsin Historical Society from 1976-2007. Danky is also a co-founder of the Center for the History of Print Culture in Modern America and served as its director from 1992-2006.[1] Since 1999 he has taught for the School of Journalism with a focus on race and media. Danky continues to edit the series "Print Culture History in Modern America" for the University of Wisconsin Press.

Honors and awards[edit]

James Danky
James Danky

Danky is the recipient of the American Library Association’s Bowker/Ulrich’s Serials Librarianship award (1987) and the Isadore Gilbert Mudge-R.R. Bowker Award (2002). In 1991, Danky was a Fulbright Scholar at the British Library, where his research focused on the alternative press in Britain, especially Afro-British publications. In 1998 he returned to London to teach American History at University College. He was named a Media Hero at the Institute for Alternative Journalism (1991), was elected a member of the American Antiquarian Society (1996), and was a fellow at the W. E. B. Du Bois Institute for African-American Research at Harvard from 1997-1998.[2]

In 2007 friends and colleagues put on a two-day conference, "Alternative Print Culture: Social History and Libraries," the results of which were published in Library Trends, v.56, n.3; Winter, 2008.[3] This conference celebrated Danky’s contributions and collections at the Wisconsin Historical Society.

Selected bibliography[edit]

  • Danky, James P. and Denis Kitchen. Underground Classics: The Transformation of Comics into Comix. New York: Abrams; Madison, WI: Chazen Museum of Art, 2009. ISBN 0-8109-0598-1
  • Danky, James P., and Wayne A. Wiegand. Women in Print: Essays on the Print Culture of American Women from the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries. Madison, WI: University of Wisconsin Press, 2004.
  • Danky, James P., “Reading, Writing and Resistance: African-American Print Culture, 1880-1940.” In A History of the Book in America, Volume 4, edited by Carl Kaestle and Janice Radway. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2008. ISBN 0-8078-3186-7
  • Danky, James P. “The Oppositional Press.” In A History of the Book in America, Volume 5, edited by Michael Schudson, David Paul Nord, and Joan Shelly Rubin. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2009. ISBN 0-8078-3285-5
  • Danky, James P. “Newspapers and Selected Periodicals.” In The Harvard Guide to African-American History, edited by Evelyn Brooks Higginbothum. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2001. ISBN 0-674-00276-8
  • Danky, James P., and Wayne A Wiegand, eds. Print Culture in a Diverse America. Champaign, IL: University of Illinois Press, 1998. ISBN 0-252-02398-6 (Carey McWilliams Prize Winner, 1988)
  • Danky, James P., and John Cherney. “Beyond Limbaugh: The Far Right’s Publishing Spectrum” Reference Services Review 24(1) (1996): 43-56.
  • Danky, James P., Ken Fones-Wolf, and Elliott Shore, eds. The German-American Radical Press: From the 1840s to the 1930s. Champaign, IL: University of Illinois Press, 1992. ISBN 0-252-01830-3
  • Danky, James P., ed. Native American Periodicals and Newspapers, 1828-1982: Bibliography, Publishing Record, and Holdings. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1984. ISBN 0-313-23773-5
  • Danky, James P., and Sanford Berman, eds. Alternative Library Literature: A Biennial Anthology (Ten Volumes). Jefferson, NC: McFarland, 1982-2000. ISBN 0-7864-1313-1 (2000/2001 ed.)
  • Danky, James P., ed. Women’s Periodicals and Newspapers from the 18th Century to 1982: A Union List of the Holdings of Madison, Wisconsin Libraries. Boston: GK Hall, 1982. ISBN 0-8161-8107-1
  • Danky, James P., and Elliott Shore, eds. Alternative Materials in Libraries. Metuchen, NJ: Scarecrow Press, 1982. ISBN 0-8108-1508-7
  • Danky, James P., Neil Strache, et al. Black Periodicals and Newspapers: A Union List of Holdings in Libraries of the University of Wisconsin and the Library of the State Historical Society of Wisconsin. 2nd ed. Madison, WI: State Historical Society of Wisconsin, 1979. ISBN 0-87020-178-6
  • Danky, James P., ed. Undergrounds: A Union List of Alternative Periodicals in Libraries of the United States and Canada. Madison, WI: State Historical Society of Wisconsin, 1974. ISBN 0-87020-142-5


External links[edit]