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"I'd say more than anything else, that's what got this started. "I started with searching in our catalog, trying out different subject headings that related to courtship or dating and seeing what that brought me to," she said."And then I did the old trick of taking the call number for this subject area and going up to the shelves to see what else was there." Many of the books focus on letter writing, which reflects the "proliferation of rules" during the Victorian era, Planton said.Some of these rules seem antiquated by today's standards: how to flirt with a fan or handkerchief or gloves, for example.But readers clung onto them so strongly at the time that many of these etiquette guides were printed in miniature editions for easy access, allowing people to stash them in a pocket to read on the go.Looking at trends in this two-century span, Planton said rules relaxed over time, but they didn't disappear by any means."It seemed like a lot of these books are geared toward women and how they should behave.

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