Free Virtual Lecture on the Kelmscott Press

“The Whole Scheme of the Book:” William Morris and the Kelmscott Press. 

23rd June, 12:30 PM EST

Join Myron Groover (McMaster’s Archives and Rare Books Librarian) for an exploration of the works of the Kelmscott Press.

Established in 1891, the Kelmscott Press was the last great project of William Morris. Conceived as a deliberate return to the technologies and processes of an earlier era of printing, the Press brought together an astonishingly gifted community of artists and artisans in a self-conscious attempt to produce “the ideal book.” Its output — 53 books in total, each in a limited print run — represents a high point of aesthetic and philosophical attainment for the Arts and Crafts movement. The work of the Press went on to have a profound influence on both printing and the decorative arts, and its founding is traditionally considered the starting point for the small and fine press movement. 

McMaster is fortunate to hold several volumes from the Press — including a sumptuous copy of its masterpiece, the Kelmscott Chaucer. On June 23rd, in recognition of International Kelmscott Press Day, join Myron Groover (McMaster’s Archives and Rare Books Librarian) for an exploration of the Kelmscott Press, its historical and aesthetic context, and McMaster’s own collection of Kelmscott editions. 

Register using this link.
Please feel free to share this invitation with other interested parties.  

This lecture is part of our ongoing Archives Alive series. This series of public-facing talks about our collections is jointly hosted by the William Ready Division of Archives & Research Collections and McMaster University Alumni.  

Gillian Dunks, M.A., M.A.S. (she/her/hers)
Archives Arrangement & Description Librarian
Archives and Research Collections
McMaster University
905-525-9140 x 23361

McMaster University is located on the traditional territories of the Mississauga and Haudenosaunee nations, and within the lands protected by the Dish with One Spoon wampum agreement.

Of Possible Interest to WRBG Members & Friends

MAZES AND MAPS: An Exhibition Inspired by Digital and Analog Gaming

From across the land, an adventuring party of cartographers assemble at the entrance to Pyramid Atlantia.  Their quest is to fill the fabled Art Center’s corridors with maps of record, both literal and figurative.  Enter the Pyramid, and witness their odyssey!  Twists and turns abound from our heroes’ display of mazes inspired by digital and analog gaming.

For many of those who sheltered in isolation or in a small group this pandemic year, playing games has been a much needed source of entertainment and socialization. MAZES AND MAPS celebrates the importance of the game while putting focus on a particular aspect: cartography.

In this eight person exhibition, each artist has uniquely interpreted game maps through a balance of projection, labeling, and symbology. Some works are pure whimsy, but others are deeply reflective and socially acute.

Featuring work by:  John James Anderson, Irene Chan, Wesley Clark, Nick DeFord, Tim Hutchings, Zofie King, Casey Jex Smith, and Andrew Wodzianski

MAZES AND MAPS opens Saturday, May 29th online and in person. The first weekend’s in-person viewings are by appointment only. Starting June 2, the public is welcome during regular gallery hours without appointment. Admission is free and gallery hours are Wed – Thu, 10 – 8 pm; Fri – Sat, 10 – 6 pm; and Sunday 12 – 5pm. The exhibition runs through July 11, 2021.

Pyramid Atlantic is located at 4318 Gallatin Street, Hyattsville Maryland 20781. More info at or 301-608-9101.

Bookish Blog Post

From Photographer to Printmaker: Prokudin-Gorskii’s “artistic-photomechanical” illustrations for Gogol’s folk stories

By Barbara Dash

A descendant of Russian nobility, Sergei Prokudin-Gorskii (1863-1944) established himself in the early 20th century as a pioneer in the development of color photography. It was his achievements and ingenuity in this field that attracted the support of the tsar, Nicholas II, for Prokudin-Gorskii’s proposed photographic survey of the vast Russian Empire. To aid the photographer’s journeys, the tsar provided a train, with a compartment outfitted for processing the photographs, a steamboat with a full crew, a motor boat, and a Ford Model-T equipped for rough mountain roads. During what would turn out to be the last years of the old Russian Empire, Prokudin-Gorskii produced what he described as natural and artistic photographs of the varied landscapes, architecture, and people of a world soon to be transformed by revolution and war.

Please visit the Library of Congress’ blog, 4 Corners of the World: International Collections to read this article by Rare Materials Cataloger, Barbara Dash.

WRBG Member Mark Samuels Lasner on the Biblio File podcast

$10 million gift to UD | UDaily

Mark Samuels Lasner is a Senior Research Fellow at the University of Delaware Library, and one of the world’s great book collectors.

The Mark Samuels Lasner Collection focuses on British literature and art from 1850 to 1900, with an emphasis on the Pre-Raphaelites and writers and illustrators of the 1890s. It comprises more than 9,500 books, letters, manuscripts, photographs, ephemera, and artworks, including many items signed by such figures as Oscar Wilde, George Eliot, Max Beerbohm, William Morris, Christina and Dante Gabriel Rossetti, Robert and Elizabeth Barrett Browning, and Aubrey Beardsley.

In this interview, Mark and Nigel connected via Zoom to talk about Mark’s childhood and his incipient interest in England and the late Victorian period, his early book collecting – the how and why of it – the extraordinarily talented and well dressed essayist, caricaturist, and critic Max Beerbohm; fun, friendships, favourite booksellers, fashion and much more.   

Listen to the interview here:

THE BIBLIO FILE is one of the world’s leading podcasts about “the book” and an inquiry into the wider world of book culture. Hosted by NIGEL BEALE it features wide ranging conversations with authors, poets, book publishers, booksellers, book editors, book collectors, book makers, book scholars, book critics, book designers, book publicists, literary agents and other best practitioners on Robert Darnton’s “communications circuit.”

FABS: Save the Date for Collectors’ Showcase

SUNDAY, JUNE 20 | 4:00 – 5:30 P.M. EDT

This summer, join the Fellowship of American Bibliophilic Societies (FABS)
for a virtual Collectors’ Showcase that will bring you into distinguished
collections across the United States.

The free event, open to members of FABS affiliate societies, will be hosted via Zoom. A formal invitation with a roster of presenters will be distributed soon.

Attendance at the event will be limited to 300. If you would like to register for the event immediately, please send your name, the bibliophilic society/societies of which you are a member, and your email address to FABS Vice Chair Dr. Alexander L. Ames at We look forward to seeing you in June!

Of Possible Interest to WRBG Members & Friends

Li'l' Gal | By: Paul Laurence Dunbar. New York: Dodd, Mean a… | Flickr

Washington Rare Book Group member Leslie Long will be speaking during Preservation Week at the Library of Congress, Friday, April 30, at 11 am.  Her online, illustrated presentation is part of the “Peek inside the Lab” program.  Please see the announcement below for more information and the link for registration.  We hope you can make it, and look forward to seeing many WRBG members there. 

Peek inside the Lab: Two Mini Presentations
Friday April 30, 11am EST

The Conservation and Digitization of the Yongle Dadian
Speakers: Alan Haley, Senior Preservation Specialist and Dan Paterson, Senior Conservator

Presenters will discuss the condition review, conservation treatment, and digitization of the Yongle Dadian, a manuscript encyclopedia from around 1565. The encyclopedia was first commissioned in 1403 by the Yongle emperor. When completed in 1408 the Yongle Dadian comprised 11,095 manuscript volumes, recording an enormous scope of Chinese life and culture. It is believed that none of the original 1408 volumes survived, but there are approximately 400 known volumes from the 16th century edition. This presentation will discuss how success of this project is dependent on conservation team working together with the other library entities, and how the size of the Yongle Dadian, its complicated history, and cultural significance impacted each phase of decision making process.

American Book Design Buffet
Speaker: Leslie Long, Senior Preservation Specialist, Conservation Division,

This presentation will focus on three important people in the world of 19th and early 20th century book design:   John Feely, Sarah Wyman Whitman and Margaret Armstrong.  All three were working in the years that are referred to as the golden age of book design – the feast of books published with beautiful covers between 1870 and 1920.  The remarkable thing about this age of beautiful books is they were every day books for every day buyers, modestly priced and widely available.

Position Announcement: Early Materials Cataloger, Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Yale University

Position: Early Materials Cataloger
Department: Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library
STARS Requisition: 64643BR
Minimum salary: $60,500

Yale University, conveniently located between Boston and New York, offers exciting opportunities for achievement and growth in New Haven, Connecticut. Located in the heart of historic downtown New Haven with more than 100 local boutiques, national retailers, cafés, casual eateries, award-winning restaurants, and world-renowned theaters, galleries, and museums.

General Purpose: 

Reporting to the Head of the Rare Book Cataloging Unit, the Early Materials Cataloger creates, enhances, and maintains original and complex bibliographic and authority records for manuscript items and printed works, chiefly from the medieval through the early modern periods, in the fields of British and European literature, history, and the humanities. Plans, directs, and reviews work of cataloging assistants and student assistants. Assists in the ongoing development of the unit’s cataloging procedures for related collections. Completes special projects as assigned. Contributes to Yale University Library and University-wide initiatives and is expected to be active professionally.

This position represents an exciting opportunity for a scholar-librarian to work at the intersection of early materials cataloging and scholarship. We seek applicants interested in the politics of metadata, the materiality of the textual object, trends in forensic analysis, and the broader questions relating the creation, survival, transmission, ownership, description and use of special collections to their understanding within scholarship, the classroom, and the public spheres of the humanities. Applicants that meet the minimum education/experience qualifications are encouraged to apply. The successful applicant will receive intensive on-the-job training in manuscript and print cataloging and paleography if needed, according to the protocols of the department and library.

The Rare Book Cataloging Unit, part of the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library’s Technical Services Department, is responsible for cataloging material principally ranging from incunabula to twenty-first century publications.

The Beinecke Library is Yale’s principal repository for literary archives, early manuscripts, and rare books. One of the great collections in North America, the Beinecke collections are internationally known and heavily used by scholars from around the world. For further information about the Beinecke Library, consult the library’s web site at:

This position will be assigned a rank of Librarian 1 to Librarian 3. Librarian ranking information can be found at The minimum salary is $60,500.

Required Education and Experience: 

1. Master’s degree from an American Library Association accredited library school. In selective cases a graduate degree in a related subject field may be substituted. 2. Demonstrated knowledge of current national cataloging/metadata content and structural standards. Knowledge of subject analysis and classification systems. 3. If supervision of professional and/or support staff is a principal responsibility, supervisory experience is required. 4. Experience designing projects and bringing them to conclusion in a timely fashion. 5. Demonstrated excellent oral, written, and interpersonal communications; analytical ability; accuracy and attention to detail. 6. Ability to initiate and adapt to change. 7. Experience working collegially and cooperatively within and across organizations. 8. Experience working collaboratively and independently with varied groups within a complex organization and rapidly changing, team environment.


  • Strong knowledge of medieval and early modern European literature or history, and broad knowledge in the humanities, as demonstrated through academic degrees or an equivalent combination of training or experience.
  • Advanced reading knowledge of Latin, including neo-Latin and Latin abbreviations.
  • Good knowledge of Latin and English paleography, and broad knowledge of medieval European paleography 1100-1600, including both book and document scripts.
  • Good reading ability in Middle English and/or Middle French, in addition to Italian, French, German or another European vernacular.
  • Preferred Education and Experience: MA or PhD in European history or literature specializing in a field relating to pre-1800 British and European collections. Demonstrated knowledge of the material culture of medieval and early modern books. Good reading knowledge of paleography for a European language beyond Latin and English. Experience creating MARC records. Cataloging experience using DCRM, AMREMM, DACS, AACR2, and/or RDA.

Application: For more information and immediate consideration, please apply online at Please be sure to reference this website when applying for this position.

We invite you to discover the excitement, diversity, rewards and excellence of a career at Yale University. One of the country’s great workplaces, Yale University offers exciting opportunities for meaningful accomplishment and true growth. Our benefits package is among the best anywhere, with a wide variety of insurance choices, liberal paid time off, fantastic family and educational benefits, a variety of retirement benefits, extensive recreational facilities, and much more.

Yale University considers applicants for employment without regard to and does not discriminate on the basis of an individual’s sex, race, color, religion, age, disability, status as a veteran, or national or ethnic origin; nor does Yale discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity or expression.


AA/EEO – M/F/Disability/Veteran

Audrey Pearson

Acting Head, Rare Book Cataloging Unit
Yale University Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library
P.O. Box 208330
New Haven, CT 06520-8330

Of Possible Interest to WRBG Members & Friends

On March 7, 2021, WRBG member Rick Black discussed the making and contents of his artist book, The Amichai Windows, with Professor Rendsburg of Rutgers University.
(The recording of this event is linked at the end of this post)

Black 05TheAmichaiWindows YomKippur

The Amichai Windows pays homage to Israeli poet Yehuda Amichai (1924–2000). Rick Black will unwrap the artist book, revealing its exquisite sculptural design, as well as discuss his personal encounters with Amichai and share the beautifully illuminated poems.

Yehuda Amichai, one of the great modern Hebrew poets, wrote about love, war, Jewish life in the twentieth century, and the modern Israeli landscape. Award-winning book artist and poet Rick Black has created an exquisite limited edition artist book featuring eighteen of Amichai’s poems. Presented both in Hebrew and English translation, each poem is wrapped and folded in an individual, handmade paper triptych and collected in an enclosure resembling a Jerusalem window. Opening each triptych is a discovery of the unique world of the poem. The work incorporates replicas of some of Amichai’s original, handwritten poems as well as collaged images of Jewish history and life that were culled from archives around the world.

Black worked with Rutgers Jewish studies professors Gary A. Rendsburg and Azzan Yadin-Israel, to translate Amichai’s poems from the original Hebrew into English. Black began the ten-year project in 2007, seven years after Amichai’s death, with the support of Hana Amichai, the poet’s widow. The artist book was issued in a limited edition of eighteen copies. Both the Library of Congress and the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum purchased the book for their permanent collections.

Read more about the roles of professors Rendsburg and Yadin-Israel in the project here. For more about the Amichai Windows project, visit

Link to recorded zoom event.

Intimate Hand Work: WRBG Member Beth Curren at The Studio Gallery

From The Studio Gallery’s website:

On March 17, 2020, most of us were anticipating a day in which there would be a nod to the Irish St. Patrick, an excuse to wear something green, and looking forward to the start of Spring. For some of us, the cancellation of that night’s dinner reservation was a metaphor of what was to come in the next 48 hours:  the abrupt shut-down and closing of all but essential services; a sheltering in place against an invisible enemy; a confusing confluence of restrictions and mis-directions; and the growing realization that day-to-day life, as we knew it, had changed, utterly. The coronavirus shifted everyone’s priorities.  As the numbers of cases and deaths spiraled upwards, artists everywhere faced the mounting pressures of isolation, loss of access to tools and materials, the interruption of our work and our expectations. All of this, often, was in direct conflict with the changing responsibilities for our relatives and neighbors.  

This exhibit of work, most of which was completed within the last fourteen months, reflects our individual responses to our personal situations, to the stresses in our lives, to the catastrophe that is this pandemic, to the social unrest and political strife.  The artworks are intricate, incorporating the intimate hand work and careful detail that has helped each of us to find serenity and harness our strengths.  The work has brought us together as artists, as women, as friends and as members of our community.

Please check out the website, or call to schedule a visit to the gallery.