WVU RAP Undergraduate Research

Allison Berg

Allison is a senior double-majoring in English and Spanish from Morgantown, WV. Working with Dr. Caronia and the Research Apprenticeship Program was Allison’s first time conducting academic research. Throughout the process, she developed a liking for literary research, learning the importance of how we tell stories and how those stories affect the world around us. She participated in the West Virginia University Research Apprenticeship Program (RAP) from 2019 to 2020. Allison presented her work as a poster for the 2020 Spring Undergraduate Research Symposium, which can be found here.

Michael DiBacco

Michael is a third year student double majoring in English and Biology from Elkins, WV who served as research assistant to Dr. Caronia through the RAP program during the 2020-2021 academic year. On what he learned from his research: "I learned about the surprising origins of Italian American tropes and stereotypes after the time of dime novels' peak prominenence." After graduation, Michael plans to apply for the Peace Corps or attend graduate school to pursue either an MFA in creative writing or a PhD in Genetics. Michael's presentation at the 2021 Spring Undergraduate Research Symposium can be found here. 

Madeline Miller

Madeline is a third-year, English and Spanish major from Fairmont, West Virginia, planning on attending law school after WVU. As a research assistant to Dr. Caronia during the 2020-2021 academic year, Madeline learned that racial and ethnic tensions in the U.S. are often reduced to only a black and white struggle, and this research educated her on the complexity of oppression in America whether race, ethnic, or class-based.  Her findings were particularly interesting to her in regards to her hometown, which is predominantly Italian American, and her childhood babysitters who emigrated from Italy to Fairmont in the 1950s. Madeline crafted a presentation of her research for the 2021 Spring Undergraduate Research Symposium, which can be found here. 

Lily Wright

Lily is a senior double majoring in English and French from Bluefield, West Virginia. She assisted Dr. Caronia in dime novel research through the WVU RAP Program during the 2019-2020 academic year. Cataloguing dime novels was an eye-opening experience for Lily, and she learned much about how media shapes the development of stereotypes and biases and how storytelling was used as a vector for promoting white supremacy in dime novels. After graduation, Lily plans to take a year off before applying to law school. Her RAP presentation from the 2020 Spring Undergraduate Research Symposium can be found here. 


Online Full-Text Collections

Nickels and Dimes: From the Collections of Johannsen and LeBlanc, Northern Illinois University


Villanova University


University of South Florida


Nickel Weeklies, Bowling Green State University


Secret Service, Stanford University


Beadle's Weekly, University of Minnesota


Special Collections and Archives

Hess Collection, University of Minnesota


Library of Congress


New York Public Library, Frank O'Brien Dime Novel Collection


Stanford University


Street and Smith Collection, Syracuse University


University of Delaware



Women and the World of Dime Novels


American Women's Dime Novel Project


Fanny Fern in the New York Ledger


Papers for the People: Dime Novels and Early Mass Market Publishing


19th-Century Girls' Series