The Materials of Exchange is a multidisciplinary examination of the complex cultural exchanges that took place between Britain and the northern United States, from southern New England to Delaware, through the early modern period of the eighteenth century to the close of the nineteenth century. The ten chapters presented here are from a number of different humanities subjects, from art history to literary studies, and reflect the different approaches and concerns of their fields; however, all ten are underpinned by two shared concepts. The first is that creative, artistic and intellectual activities were a product, and part of, a single common transatlantic culture and reflected the values and meanings of that culture through different media and forms of expression, whether texts, images or objects. By placing a range of cultural activities and academic fields alongside each other, the book seeks to highlight the shared cultural experiences that existed within the historic processes of transatlantic exchange sometimes obscured by today’s academic boundaries: even in such seemingly diverse and unrelated activities as letter writing and chair making. The second concept behind Materials of Exchange is the importance of the objects in, or through, which ideas are transmitted as the means of dissemination in text, image and form. The significance of materiality in terms of transatlantic exchanges is readily apparent when we think about the physicality of chairs embodied with memories of home or an artist’s canvas that bears a visual representation of new places, peoples and events. However, through the subsequent chapters we also find that transatlantic print culture and the power of the object of the book – carried in crates, pockets and hands – is also central to literary expression. What emerges most strongly from this sampling of transatlantic culture is the persistence of the theme of identity: relationships and the need for people to express a sense of belonging (to a common culture, subculture, group or just to a family) in words and images or through the ownership of specific things, and, equally, for others to express a sense of strangeness and exclusion. This shared theme of identity can be found in novels, travel writing, theatre, furniture, buildings and painting throughout the Materials of Exchange.