Washington Area Group for Print Culture Studies Event

The next meeting of the Washington Area Group for Print Culture Studies 2022-2023 series will take place on Friday, February 10, from 3:30 to 5:00 p.m. (EST) via Zoom.

Lilla Vekerdy, Head of Special Collections at the Smithsonian Libraries and Archives, will deliver a talk entitled “How Do Book Bindings Get to Sing?

Zoom link:  https://wcupa.zoom.us/j/93439549048?pwd=alVCaE54RWVVeGNUdGQxbjlaQzlKQT09

How Do Book Bindings Get to Sing? will discuss a group of Renaissance and Early Modern books that are bound in fragments of music manuscripts from the Middle Ages.  These “singing bindings” are hundreds of years older than the texts they cover.  Furthermore, the texts inside are on mathematics, physics, astronomy, and one even about the Devil itself, but absolutely none is on music.  Lilla Vekerdy will shed light on how and why these discrepancies happened.  The volumes examined are selected from the Smithsonian Libraries and Archives’ Dibner Library of the History of Science and Technology.

Lilla Vekerdy earned her two master’s degrees in Literature, Linguistics and Library Sciences in Budapest, Hungary in 1984, and completed her doctoral coursework in Medieval and Renaissance History at Saint Louis University in St. Louis, Missouri in 2005.  She has been the Head of Special Collections at the Smithsonian Libraries and Archives since 2008, where she oversees all rare materials in 16 library research centers, and also serves as the Curator of Physical Sciences Rare Books.  Her research interest and publications are in the history of science and medicine as well as in rare book studies, and often cover the overlay of these fields. 

Please join us for Lilla Vekerdy’s talk and discussion afterwards.

For further information, consult the Washington Area Group for Print Culture Studies website at http://wagpcs.wordpress.com/, or contact Sabrina Baron and Eleanor Shevlin at the above emails.

CalRBS Course offered in DC!

Introduction to Western Codicology

Instructor: Ilya Dines
Location: Smithsonian / Washington D.C.
Mode: In-person
Dates: August 14 – August 18
Tuition: $1200.00

Course Description:

This course focuses on the skills required to analyze, research and understand medieval Western manuscripts as physical objects, from the way manuscripts must be handled and measured, through their binding and construction, and finally through the organization of quires and their writing surface. Ultimately, students will understand how all the elements work in tandem to produce a manuscript. After mastering these skills, students will proceed to the methods by which medieval manuscripts are described from a codicological point of view. This course is based primarily on the holdings of the Smithsonian institute as well as on my extensive image archive, and on visits to the rare and special collections of the Library of Congress.

For more information visit: https://www.calrbs.org/program/courses/introduction-to-western-codicology/

APHA 2023 Mark Samuels Lasner Fellowship in Printing History

The American Printing History Association (APHA) is now accepting applications for the 2023 Mark Samuels Lasner Fellowship in Printing History. An award of up to $2,000 is available for research in any area of the history of printing, including all the arts and technologies relevant to printing, the book arts, and letter forms.

The Mark Samuels Lasner Fellowship supports the study of printing history, in any time period or geographic region. The topic may be biographical, analytical, technical, or bibliographical in nature. Studio work or study with a recognized printer, if focused on printing history, may be supported. APHA fellowships are open to individuals of any nationality. Applicants need not be academics, and an advanced degree is not required. Previous applicants are invited to re-apply. The fellowship can be used to pay for travel, living, and other expenses, including internet access, dependent care during the period of research, or fees for image reproduction.

Applications and supporting materials are due by Sunday, January 8, 2023. The fellowship will be formally awarded at the annual meeting of the American Printing History Association on Saturday, January 28, 2023. The annual meeting will be virtual. Full information, the application form, and a sample budget may be found on the APHA Fellowship page at https://printinghistory.org/programs/fellowship/.


J. Fernando Peña
President, American Printing History Association

Symposium Invitation – Making the Modern Book: The Aramont Library

Please join the Rare Book & Special Collections Division for an afternoon and early evening of literature, modern art, and apéritifs!

Making the Modern Book: The Aramont Library
January 19, 2023

Join artists, scholars, and specialists at the Library of Congress for a free, in-person symposium celebrating the donation of the Aramont Library. A monument to modern Western creativity in nineteenth- and twentieth-century art and literature, the Aramont Library’s 1,700 books strike a perfect balance between book design, content, illustration, and binding. In private hands for over 40 years, the Aramont Library is comprised of literary first editions, illustrated books, exhibition bindings, finely bound author collections, and illustrated books by some of the most important artists of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, including: Henri Matisse, Pablo Picasso, Joan Miro, Dorothea Tanning, Max Ernst, and many more. The collection also includes first editions of landmarks in Western literature by authors such as Ernest Hemingway, Oscar Wilde, and Virginia Woolf, as well as three variant first edition copies of James Joyce’s Ulysses, one of which includes a very rare schema and annotated anatomical figure describing Joyce’s novel. Famous binders such as Sangorski & Sutcliffe, Paul Bonet, and Rose Adler elevate many books to holistic works of art with stunning displays of craft and careful artistry. 

Making the Modern Book will offer visitors an introduction to the Aramont Library and its formation over the past four decades. It will also address the way in which the Aramont Library’s unique combination of art, literature, and non-fiction embodies the spirit of modernism, challenging historical conceptions about the content, design, and format of modern books during the nineteenth and twentieth century. 

Register HERE.

For questions, please contact Emily Moore, Assistant Curator to the Aramont Library: emmoore@loc.gov 


Gaby Cooksey (she/her), Bookbinder and book artist

Gabby Cooksey is a bookbinder and book artist in Tacoma, WA. She studied at the American Academy of Bookbinding and graduated from North Bennet Street School for bookbinding. She has a love for odd materials, storytelling and well crafted books.

Patrick Hastings (he/him) English Department Chair, Gillman School

Patrick Hastings is the English Department Chair at Gilman School in Baltimore, Maryland, where he teaches sophomores and seniors and also coaches the JV soccer team. His scholarship specializes in James Joyce’s novel Ulysses, and he has presented at conferences on the topics of Digital Humanities and Postmodernism. He is the author of The Guide to James Joyce’s Ulysses and the creator of UlyssesGuide.com.

Robin Holder (she/her) Artist

Robin Holder is a visual artist known for developing imagery that explores how our perspectives are informed by our cultural, racial, religious and class identity.  Holder was commissioned to create several site-specific public art installations notably 34 glass windows for the New York City subway. She has presented several one person museum exhibitions. Her work has been acquired by The Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, The Washington State Arts Commission, The Art Commission of the City of New York, The Queens Borough Public Library as well as numerous corporate and private collections.

Gordon Hollis (he/him), Founder of Golden Legend Books

Gordon Hollis, President, has an A.M from the University of Chicago (1973). He has been a member of the ABAA  (Antiquarian Bookseller’s Association of America) since 1984.  He was on the Board of Governors, (1992–3); and President of the Southern California Chapter of the ABAA (2004–6).  Also, he has been a member of the Grolier Club, Society of Dance History Scholars, American Society of Theatre Historians, and Bibliographical Society of America. He has written numerous articles about rare-book collecting and published three books on this subject. Gordon joined the Aramont organization in 1982 and was curator of the rare-book collection until it was donated to the Library of Congress (2020).

Emily Moore (she/her), Curator at the Library of Congress

Emily Moore is the Assistant Curator of the Aramont Library in the Rare Books and Special Collections Division at the Library of Congress. She has a double BA in Art History and Cinema from the University of Toronto and an MLIS from the University of Maryland. Moore’s passions are art and archives, and examining how production and process intersect with memory and object.

Jamie Murphy (he/him) Printer and book artist

Jamie Murphy operates under the imprint of The Salvage Press, making books with particular attention to concept, materials and fine printing. At The National College of Art & Design his focus with students is on book-making and typographic experimentation. Collaborating with artists from diverse disciplines he produces book projects which are predominantly of Irish interest. Jamie has exhibited and spoken broadly about his work and has been the recipient of several major international awards. His books reside in private, public and institutional collections across the globe.

Adrien Legendre (he/him), Head of the Books and Manuscripts Department, Christie’s France

After graduating from the Sorbonne in 2005 with a Master degree in History, Adrien Legendre joined a prestigious Parisian book dealer in the Quartier Latin, then, in 2008 the Books department of Sotheby’s in Paris, until 2013 and then was transferred to the Books department of Sotheby’s New York. In July 2017, Adrien joined Christie’s as the Head of the Books and Manuscripts department in Paris where is been in charge of several majors books collections including the Juan de Besteigui collection in 2018, Marc Litzler collection in 2019, or the Paul Destribats Bibliothèque des Avant-Gardes from 2019 till 2022.

Ken Shure (he/him), Co-partner Two Ponds Press with Liv Rockefeller

Owner and manager of Goose River Exchange, Antiquarian book and ephemera shop (1977-2018). Agent for Leonard Baskin’s Gehenna Press 1985-present. Also represent other artist’s private presses Double Elephant, Chevington, Khelcom New York, Wiesedruck. Established Two Ponds Press in 2012 with Liv Rockefeller and celebrating 10th anniversary with retrospective exhibition at Bowdoin College Library opened September 2022.

Stephanie Stillo (she/her), Curator at the Library of Congress

Stephanie Stillo serves as Curator of the Lessing J. Rosenwald Collection and Aramont Library in the Rare Book and Special Collections Division at the Library of Congress. She is currently acting as Assistance Chief to RBSCD. Stillo holds a PhD in Modern European History and specializes in the history of printmaking and historical book illustration. Stillo has a particular interest in the visual intersection of art, literature, and poetry in modern and contemporary artist books.

Please join us! Register HERE.

Of possible interest: LCSNA Fall 2022 Meeting

November 4, 2022 – November 6, 2022 EDT

We look forward to SEEING and, perhaps, HUGGING you at the LCSNA meeting held at the George A Smathers Libraries, University of Florida, in Gainesville. While there are no registration costs to you and the meeting is free and open to the public, we ask that you register by Oct 26th to help us prepare for your arrival.

During the General Meeting on SaturdayNov 5, tea, coffee, and water will be available throughout the day. Lunch will be available to attendees at no cost.

Sunday, Nov 6, we ask you to register for the Tea Party. If you know there are specific materials you would like to see on Sunday, send an email to special@uflib.ufl.edu to request those materials be pulled ahead of time.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Remote/Zoom attendees MUST register to receive the link and password Information for the meeting.

Link for more information and Registration: https://www.lewiscarroll.org/event/lcsna-fall-2022-meeting/#tribe-tickets__tickets-form

Online Rare Book Event!

Opening the Case: The Giant Bible of Mainz at the Library of Congress

Register Here!

On National German-American Friendship Day, October 6, 2022 from 11:00am-12:30pm EST, the Library of Congress will be hosting an online event: Opening the Case: The Giant Bible of Mainz at the Library of CongressThis virtual event celebrating the Giant Bible of Mainz will present new research about the context and significance of one of the Library’s great treasures.

Given to the Library of Congress by philanthropist and bibliophile Lessing J. Rosenwald in 1952 as a part of the Rosenwald Collection, the Giant Bible of Mainz has captured the imagination of scholars and visitors to the Library for more than half a century. Now, through digitization, a new level of public access has been achieved. In keeping with Rosenwald’s commitment to encouraging broad cultural engagement with the history of the illustrated book, these images allow anyone interested in medieval manuscripts to encounter each and every page of this singular codex.

One of the great illuminated manuscripts, the Giant Bible of Mainz represents an amazing moment of transition within the history of European book production. A magnificent Middle-Rhenish manuscript copied between April 1452 and July 1453, the Giant Bible was written at the same time as Johann Gutenberg was printing his famous bible using moveable metal type. Join us on October 6th, 2022 to learn more about this fascinating moment in book history!

In honor of this event, RBSCD will provide an evening public viewing of the Giant Bible in the Great Hall of the Library of Congress. This viewing will take place on October 6, 2022 from 5:00pm-7:00pm EST.  This in-person viewing is free, but tickets are required. You can reserve a ticket at Live! at The Library: The Giant Bible of Mainz or on the Library’s Events Page.

For more information about this event, contact Marianna Stell at marstell@loc.gov.

Learn More about the Giant Bible at the Links Below:
Giant Bible of Mainz Story Map: https://www.loc.gov/ghe/cascade/index.html?appid=968ad639b1534674925b785bf5ac8dae
Giant Bible of Mainz Video:https://www.loc.gov/item/webcast-10427
Rosenwald Collection featuring the Giant Bible of Mainz: https://www.loc.gov/collections/lessing-j-rosenwald/about-this-collection
Giant Bible of Mainz digital link: https://www.loc.gov/item/52002226

Bibliographical Society of America’s New Scholars Program

The Bibliographical Society of America’s New Scholars Program promotes the work of scholars new to bibliography, broadly defined to include the creation, production, publication, distribution, reception, transmission, and subsequent history of all textual artifacts. This includes manuscript, print, and digital media, from clay and stone to laptops and iPads. 

Thanks to a recent donation to BSA in honor of Jacob Blanck (1906-1974), the New Scholars Program now provides named support for bibliographical and book historical scholarship focusing on printed works of writers of the United States and their publishers, in addition to the program’s Malkin and Pantzer awards.

The New Scholars award is $1,000, with a $500 travel stipend. Three awards are made each year as part of a two-pronged program:

1.     New Scholars present fifteen-minute talks on their current, unpublished bibliographical research during a program preceding the Society’s Annual Meeting, held each January.

2.     Expanded versions of New Scholars’ papers are submitted to the editor of The Papers of the Bibliographical Society of America (PBSA) for publication, subject to peer review. 

The committee strongly encourages applications from those who have not previously published, lectured, or taught on bibliographical subjects.

Bibliographical scholarship pursuing new methods and new approaches, including applications from candidates applying bibliographical theory and principles to diverse materials and media, is welcome. Guided by the Society’s Equity Action Plan, the committee also welcomes submissions that embrace diverse, multicultural perspectives.

For more details on the New Scholars program, including eligibility and application information, please visit the BSA website, and watch the 2020 information session recording on YouTube. A short video outlining the terms of each of the three named awards will be posted to the same channel.

Of Possible Interest to WRBG Members and Friends!

Belle da Costa Greene, The Extraordinary Librarian-Scholar Who Created the Morgan Library,” with Daria Rose Foner (A Virtual Event)
Belle da Costa Greene

Belle da Costa Greene, The Extraordinary Librarian-Scholar Who Created the Morgan Library,” with Daria Rose Foner (A Virtual Event)

On March 27 at 3 p.m., the Friends welcome Dr. Daria Rose Foner, a 2011 Princeton alumna, who recently joined Sotheby’s New York after having served as the Research Associate to the Director at the Morgan Library & Museum. Dr. Foner’s talk will introduce Belle da Costa Greene (1879-1950), arguably one of the greatest librarian-scholars of the 20th century, who began her career at Princeton University Library. Within a few years of being hired away by J. Pierpont Morgan in 1905, she became his chief consultant on bibliographic matters, eventually serving as the inaugural director of the Pierpont Morgan Library. 

Witty, vivacious, and intellectually curious, Greene forged a life for herself that existed at the intersection of high society, discriminating scholarship, and haute couture. Dr. Foner will trace Greene’s life from her origins in an upper-class African American community in Washington D.C., through her ascension to the pinnacle of her profession, and explores how the racial barriers of Jim Crow America led Greene, her mother, and her siblings to “pass” as white of Portuguese descent.

Register here: https://princeton.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_ZEvOSrI9RQCvO50MgEhYGw

More about Dr. Daria Rose Foner:
Dr. Foner completed her undergraduate degree at Princeton University and a Masters of Philosophy at the University of Cambridge. She received her doctorate from Columbia University. Work on her dissertation, “Collaborative Endeavors in the Career of Andrea del Sarto,” was supported by the Fulbright Association, the Medici Archive Project in Florence, the Renaissance Society of America, and the Italian Art Society. At the Morgan, Dr. Foner worked on a range of exhibitions and collections-based initiatives, conducted considerable research on the institution’s early history, and with the Director, co-wrote an essay on J. Pierpont Morgan as a collector of rare books and manuscripts. She is the Co-Director of the Belle Greene – Bernard Berenson letters project and is currently preparing an essay on Belle Greene’s personal collection of Italian paintings. Dr. Foner is now at Sotheby’s New York in the Old Master Paintings Department. She is also the caa.reviews editor for New York exhibitions.

This event is part of the Friends of the Princeton University Library Small Talks Series held each month on a Sunday at 3 p.m.