Amos Paul Kennedy, Jr. at BookLab!

Just a reminder that Amos Paul Kennedy, Jr. will be visiting as BookLab’s Petrou Artist in Residence this week.

You can drop in to BookLab (Tawes 3248) any time Wednesday, 11- 5 pm to meet him, hang out, watch him work, and–of course–print under his direction! No experience and no particular time commitment is necessary.

On Thursday, at 3:30 in Ulrich Recital Hall (Tawes Hall) he will deliver an artist’s talk entitled “The Gospel of Bad Printing.”

On Friday, festivities will shift down the street to our neighbors at Pyramid Atlantic, where Mr. Kennedy will open an exhibition of his work, 6:30 –  9:00pm.

Here is his biography:

Amos Paul Kennedy, Jr is a descendant of the enslaved peoples of the United States of America . After 40 years of age, Kennedy embraced his humanity and abandoned the commercial dream that defines this civilization. Unsatisfied with the illusion of a comfortable, middle-class life, Amos traded in his computer for a printing press and his white collar for overalls. The subject of the Brown Finch Films documentary “Proceed and Be Bold”, his letterpress work raises emotionally charged questions about race, individuality, and the false narrative of this civilization.

The aforementioned documentary is available here:

Please join us for what promises to be a special and unique event, and also to help showcase (in return) all of the amazing people and work here at Maryland. And please forward this announcement to others near and wide–all events are free and open to the public.

Best, Matt

Matthew Kirschenbaum
Professor of English and Digital Studies
Director, Graduate Certificate in Digital Studies
Printer’s Devil, BookLab
University of

Call for Papers – CBHL 2020

The Council of Botanical & Horticultural Libraries is holding its annual meeting for 2020 in Washington DC, May 19-22. 

Hosted by the Smithsonian Libraries and the National Library of Agriculture, the theme is “What’s next? The 21st-century botanical and horticultural library;” the conference will feature Dr. John Kress, Curator Emeritus, National Museum of Natural History, as the keynote speaker on botanical research in the Anthropocene, with a post-conference trip to Oak Spring Garden Library in Upperville VA on Saturday, May 23.

The coming century will be challenging for libraries of all kinds, but botanical and horticultural libraries can anticipate a particularly important role as evidence mounts of the ways in which climate change increasingly affects our world, from large-scale agriculture to neighborhood gardens to the exploration/discovery/cultivation of new food sources.  There will also be practical issues of work environments and how we store and preserve physical books as the physical world around us changes.  We may already be facing expected (and unexpected) impacts from that challenge, as well as those arising from technological developments, new research needs, institutional contexts and/or support, public interest and access/outreach, staff training and expertise requirements, fund-raising issues, or simply how best to deal with an unpredictable future.

Short (20-minute) presentations on any aspect of current and future changes, challenges, and opportunities to libraries supporting botanical scholarship and horticultural activities are invited.

Please submit proposals of 100-150 words, including your name and e-mail contact information, to Leslie K. Overstreet, by March 15, 2020.

Washington Area Group for Print Culture Studies Event

The next meeting of the Washington Area Group for Print Culture Studies 2019-2020 series will take place on Friday, March 6th , from 3:30 to 5:00 p.m. in the Rosenwald Room (LJ 205), 2nd floor, Jefferson Building of t​he Library of Congress. Professor Juliette Wells will deliver a talk entitled “A Labor of Love and Friendship: Alberta H. Burke, Averil Hassall, and the Building of a Transatlantic Austen Collection.”

Abstract:For more than forty years, the distinguished American Austen collector Alberta Burke (1906-1975) filed ephemera in a series of ten astonishing scrapbooks. Her most enthusiastic partner in this endeavor was her longtime friend Averil Hassall of Oxfordshire, who contributed clippings, playbills, and extensive handwritten reviews of Austen adaptations on stage and screen.  Recently rediscovered personal letters illuminate for the first time the extent and significance of Mrs. Hassall’s contributions, as well as affording new insight into Mrs. Burke’s motives and practices as a collector.

Brief Biography: 

Juliette Wells is the Elizabeth Conolly Todd Distinguished Professor of English at Goucher College. She is the author of two books on Austen’s historical readers and fans: Reading Austen in America (2017), and Everybody’s Jane: Austen in the Popular Imagination (2011), both for Bloomsbury Academic. For Penguin Classics, she created 200th-anniversary annotated editions of Persuasion (2017) and Emma (2015). As the Jane Austen Society of North America (JASNA) East Coast Traveling Lecturer in 2019-2020, she will address groups in New Jersey, Connecticut, New York, and Halifax, Nova Scotia; she will also give a keynote for the Jane Austen Society of Australia’s biennial conference in June 2020.

Please join us for Dr. Well‘s talk and for dinner afterwards.

The Jefferson Building is located between First and Second Streets, SE in the District of Columbia. Nearest metro stops are Capitol South (blue and orange lines) and Union Station (red line).

For further information, consult the Washington Area Group for Print Culture Studies website at, or contact Sabrina Baron and Eleanor Shevlin at

For their encouragement and support, the Washington Area Group for Print Culture Studies would like to thank Mark Dimunation, Chief of the Rare Book and Special Collections at the Library of Congress and other Library of Congress staff including Michael North, Head, Reference and Reader Services, Rare Book and Special Collections; Stephanie Stillo, Lessing J. Rosenwald Curator; Eric Frazier, Reference Librarian Rare Book and Special Collections. We are also indebted to John Y. Cole,  Library of  Congress Historian and founder of the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress.

Library of Congress Opens Applications for Librarians-in-Residence Program

Recent Graduates of Library and Information Science Master’s Programs Can Apply Beginning Dec. 12

For the third year, the Library of Congress is announcing a Librarians-in-Residence program to offer early career librarians the opportunity to develop their expertise and contribute to building, stewarding and sharing the institution’s national collections.  

Applications will be accepted from December 12, 2019 to January 17, 2020. The Library will select up to nine applicants for a six-month residency beginning in July 2020. The program is open to students who will complete their master’s degrees in an American Library Association-accredited library and information science program no later than June 2020 or who completed such a degree no earlier than December 2018.

“We are inviting early career librarians to bring their intellectual engagement, technological prowess and theoretical concepts of library and information science to help us address practical challenges here at the world’s largest library,” said Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden. “The Library of Congress will benefit from their creative thinking, and librarians-in-residence will benefit from the hands-on experience of working with the national collections, side-by-side with experts on the Library’s staff.”

For more information, visit the Library’s website for the full announcement:

2019 APHA Chesapeake Chapter Denker Fellows Symposium Invitation

Each year the Chesapeake Chapter of the American Printing History Association awards fellowships to undergraduate or graduate students with an interest in printing history, printing, or the book arts. The fellowships are a memorial to Michael P. Denker, an active and beloved past president of the Chesapeake Chapter and an enthusiastic and accomplished letterpress printer who died in 2013. The Denker Fellowship has been established to honor and celebrate Mike’s commitment to getting young people interested in printing and printing history, and his great devotion to the Chesapeake Chapter.

As part of the fellowship program Denker Fellows give a presentation on a topic of their choosing at the Library of Congress. You are invited to join us for this year’s presentations on Wednesday, November 13, at 3:00 p.m. at the Library of Congress in the Rosenwald Room (Room LJ205) on the second floor of the Jefferson Building, 10 First Street, SE, Washington, DC.

Presenting this year will be Mallory Haselberger who writes that, “While literary studies are foregrounded by printing history, the practical instruction of letterpress printing is notably absent in the humanities undergraduate and graduate curriculum. As someone whose research and interests have always been at the intersection of the literary and artistic, my journey of coming to letterpress as a graduate student has changed my perspective on my studies — and altered how I think about the printed word. My development as a printer has changed my perspective about how an art form identified with the past can be reintroduced, and re-imagined, in current academic discourse.” Her  talk “Learning to Measure by Ems and Picas: A Letterpress Journey” will cover her own experiences in learning to “measure by ems and picas” during her studies, from her first experiments in printing and re-finishing a 3 X 5″ Kelsey press, to undertaking her first entirely letterpress-printed project. By examining her introductory experiences in letterpress printing, she will discuss the ways in which the actions of setting type, rolling ink, and adjusting spacing can expand multidisciplinary studies in a way not provided by other artistic means.

Also presenting will be Cody Zanowick who’s talk is titled “Printmaking In Its Primal Form.”

We hope you will be able to join us for these interesting, well prepared presentations.

Fellowship Opportunities: Smithsonian Libraries

The Smithsonian Libraries has just opened applications for our two Special Collections fellowship programs: the Baird Society Resident Scholar Program and the Dibner Library Resident Scholar Program.

Deadlines for both are January 15, 2020.

For more info about the Dibner Fellowship:

For more info about the Baird Fellowship:

Please contact Allie Alvis ( or Lilla Vekerdy ( with any additional questions, and please feel free to forward this announcement to interested parties.

Looking forward to reading your applications!

Fellowship Opportunity at Grolier Club

The 2019 Grolier Club Library William H. Helfand Fellowship

The Grolier Club Library is pleased to announce its annual fellowship offering in the art and history of the book, named in honor of Grolier Club benefactor and former president William H. Helfand. Awards of up to $3,000 are available for research in the Library’s areas of strength, with emphasis on the private collecting of books and prints, antiquarian bookselling, and the book and graphic arts. Fellowship awards may be used to pay for travel, housing, and other expenses. A research stay of two weeks is desired, and Helfand Fellows are expected to present the results of their research in a public lecture at the Grolier Club, or in an article submitted to the Club’s journal, The Gazette of the Grolier Club.


Members of the Grolier Club are not eligible, nor are students enrolled in undergraduate degree programs, but all other interested persons are encouraged to apply. There is no application form. Applicants should submit a curriculum vitae and a proposal, not to exceed 750 words, stating necessary length of residence, historical materials to be used, relevance of the Grolier Club Library collections to the project, a proposed budget, and two letters of recommendation. More information on the Library and its holdings can be found at, under “The Library” in the navigation menu.

The deadline for applications and letters of support is December 27, 2019, and announcement of awards will be made by mid-February, 2020. Research terms can take place any time in the calendar year of 2020, but please note that the Club is closed, and library access is not offered, during the month of August.

Applications should be emailed to Grolier Club Director Eric Holzenberg: