Smithsonian Speaker Series: Magnificent Obsessions-Why We Collect

Celebrating Women Book Collectors: The Early Years of the Honey & Wax Prize

Featuring:
Heather O’Donnell and Rebecca Romney
Honey & Wax Booksellers

Friday, May 31st, 2019. 1 pm ET
National Museum of Natural History
Q?rius Theater

In this talk, rare book dealers Heather O’Donnell and Rebecca Romney of Honey & Wax Booksellers share some of the experiences that inspired their annual prize of $1000 for an outstanding book collection built by a woman in the United States, aged 30 or younger. While there have always been a select number of women in the top ranks of American book collectors, the field remains largely dominated by men, both as buyers and sellers. The result of that imbalance has been a predictable series of missed connections. Historically, many booksellers have been slow to recognize and cultivate women collectors, especially when those women approach their chosen subjects from unconventional angles; many women have been hesitant to identify as “book collectors” at all, even when they are building serious and original collections.

In 2017, Heather and Rebecca established the Honey & Wax Prize to draw attention to the range of creative approaches to book collecting currently being practiced by young women in the United States, expanding the popular perception of book collecting from an elite pursuit to a more democratic practice. Their goal is to celebrate women building exceptional collections, and to encourage more women to identify confidently as collectors from a young age. Heather and Rebecca will survey some of their favorite prize submissions, and reflect on what they are learning from a rising generation of women collectors.

This event is free and open to the public. Please RSVP to reserve your seat: https://s.si.edu/2GXMt8T

Please request access services by emailing SILRSVP@si.edu by May 20th, 2019.

About Heather O’Donnell & Rebecca Romney:

Heather O’Donnell started bookselling while she studied English at Columbia, holding down a series of bookish jobs: working the cash register at the Strand, shelving photobooks in the Avery Library, sifting the slush pile at Grand Street. While writing her doctoral dissertation in the Yale English department, Heather worked as a curatorial assistant at the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library. From 2001 to 2004, she joined the Princeton Society of Fellows, then left academia to pursue the rare book trade fulltime. For seven years, she worked as a bookseller in the New York gallery of Bauman Rare Books. In the fall of 2011, she founded Honey & Wax Booksellers in Brooklyn.

Heather is a member of the Grolier Club, the Antiquarian Booksellers’ Association of America (ABAA), the International League of Antiquarian Booksellers (ILAB), and a graduate of the Colorado Antiquarian Book Seminar and Rare Book School. She serves on the ABAA Board of Governors, the faculty of the Colorado Antiquarian Book Seminar, and the Vetting Committee of the New York Winter Antiques Show.

Rebecca Romney rebelled against her family of scientists by pursuing a degree in linguistics and classics in college. After teaching English in Japan, Rebecca helped launch the Las Vegas gallery of Bauman Rare Books in 2008, and became manager of the gallery two years later, eventually moving to Philadelphia to manage the central operations of the firm. Since 2011, she has appeared regularly as the rare books specialist on the HISTORY Channel’s hit Pawn Stars. Now settled on the East Coast, Rebecca joined Honey & Wax in the summer of 2016, and published Printer’s Error, an anecdotal history of printed books, with HarperCollins in 2017.

Rebecca is a member of the Grolier Club, the Philobiblon Club, the Baker Street Irregulars, the Washington Book Table, the Society for the History of Authorship, Reading, and Publishing (SHARP), the Bibliographical Society of America (BSA), and the American Printing History Association (APHA). She is a graduate of the Colorado Antiquarian Book Seminar and Rare Book School. She serves on the Rare Book School Scholarship Committee, the Grolier Club Library Committee, the Membership Working Group of the BSA, and as a board member and liaison to the Merril Collection of Science Fiction for the American Friends of the Toronto Public Library.

About Honey & Wax:

Honey & Wax Booksellers is a Brooklyn-based rare and antiquarian book firm run by Heather O’Donnell and Rebecca Romney. The company was founded in 2011 and is a member of the Antiquarian Booksellers’ Association of America. In 2017, the firm established the Honey & Wax Prize, an annual award granted for an outstanding book collection built by an American women, aged 30 or younger.

Magnificent Obsessions: Why We Collect is now on view in the National Museum of American History.

Questions? Contact Erin Rushing, rushinge@si.edu .

National Collegiate Book Collecting Contest

The ABAA is currently accepting entries for the 2019 National Collegiate Book Collecting Contest.

We are delighted to once again have support from the Jay I. Kislak Foundation, the generous underwriter of prizes for this contest.

Please note that the National Collegiate Book Collecting Contest is open to all prizewinners of college contests, whether or not first prize, as well as to interested students whose institutions do not offer contests. More information can be found here. All entries should be submitted at apply.abaa.org

All entries for the 2019 competition must be submitted by June 13, 2019. For more information on the contest, please visit contest.abaa.org

Please pass along this information to any interested parties and contact hq@abaa.org with any questions. 

With thanks and good wishes on behalf of our partners at The Library of Congress, FABS, and the Grolier Club.

Warm regards,
Janine Moodhe
Associate Director
Antiquarian Booksellers’ Association of America (ABAA)
212-944-8291

Call for Submissions: FABS Journal

We are delighted to post this call for submissions for the 2019 Fall issue of the FABS Journal, the official publication of The Fellowship of American Bibliophilic Societies, whose mission is to communicate, share, and support biblio-centric activities, research, and ideas across its member clubs. The journal is published twice annually in print and digital form, and 6,000 copies of each issue are distributed to our North American Member Clubs and International Affiliates.  In addition to reporting club news, each issue features an article, review, Q&A, or opinion piece on a topic of the author’s choosing. 

Past issues may be viewed in PDF form on the FABS website:
http://www.fabsocieties.org/archive.html

We welcome entries from ALL corners of the book world including (but certainly not limited to): librarians, institutions, dealers, collectors, bibliographers, conservators, archivists, book plate enthusiasts, academics, curators, bookbinders, decorated paper makers, and anyone who has done significant independent research on the book as an object.  You do not need to be a member of a FABS club to submit, and the Fall 2019 issue is not themed.

Submissions must not exceed the 2000 word limit and must be emailed to the editor no later than 11:59 p.m. on June 30th (email address below). The issue will be published in the first week of October.

We hope you will consider sharing your work!

With best wishes,
Annie Rowlenson, Editor
annerowlenson@gmail.com

Scott Ellwood, Assistant Editor
scotte.ellwood@gmail.com

Employment Opportunity at the Society of the Cincinnati

Research Services Librarian
The American Revolution Institute of the Society of the Cincinnati, a nonprofit historical and educational organization headquartered at Anderson House in Washington, D.C., seeks a dynamic library professional to manage reader services and outreach for its library, which houses a collection of 50,000+ rare and modern items focused on the era of the American Revolution.

Major Duties
The research services librarian is the primary staff member charged with promoting and managing use of the library collections, on-site and remotely. The research services librarian:
– assists and advises scholars using the library collections, especially the Institute’s fellows and other academic users;
– develops and manages special projects to promote and document the library collections, such as writing articles for the Institute’s publications and website and giving lectures and customized presentation to special groups;
– develops and leads classes on using special collections for research, a hallmark of our library program;
– oversees and manages the digitization of library collections and directs the development of the online Digital Library;
– recruits and supervises the library’s volunteers and interns;
– provides support to the Institute’s broader cultural initiatives, including exhibitions, educational programs, publications and special events; and
– works closely with the Library Director to develop and enhance library programs and services.

Qualifications
– Master’s degree in library and information science from an ALA-accredited institution or equivalent training and experience (knowledge of the history of the American Revolutionary era a plus);
– at least three years of professional experience working with special collections and providing reference support in a library setting
– knowledge of digitization protocols (experience with CONTENTdm a plus);
– excellent interpersonal skills working with staff, volunteers, interns, researchers and other constituents of the library;
– reading knowledge of French or other foreign language; and
– demonstrated organizational skills, ability to work independently and take initiative, and effective writing and public speaking

Salary and Benefits
This is a mid-level position on the professional staff of the Society of the Cincinnati. The current budget allocation for this position is $55,000 per year (negotiable). Excellent benefits include paid annual and sick leave, health insurance, a 401(k) plan, and a monthly commuting stipend.

To Apply
Send a resume and cover letter, including mention of where you learned about this opening, by email to:

Ellen McCallister Clark
Library Director
The American Revolution Institute of the Society of the Cincinnati
2118 Massachusetts Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20008
emclark@societyofthecincinnati.org

Position open until filled.