Wednesday October 17, 2018 5:00 PM to 6:30 PM

Invites you to join us for Collector’s Night
Wednesday, October 17th, 2018: 5:00 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.
To be held in the Dibner Library in the National Museum of American History
12th St & Constitution Ave NW, Washington, DC

 To formally kick off the 2018-2019 WRBG Event Year, in conjunction with the Smithsonian’s Dibner Library of the History of Science and Technology in the National Museum of American History, we have organized an evening with five of our members presenting examples from their personal collections.


The event will begin at 5:00 p.m. with a reception including wine and non-alcoholic beverages as well as hors d’oeuvres. This will give us an opportunity to reconnect or make new friends after the long summer hiatus.
Even though there is no cost for this event, for security purposes, members must RSVP below or to William E. Baxter ( by October 8th so that we can provide a list of names to museum security. Members must be inside of the museum before it closes to the public at 5:30 p.m., there is no means for admitting anybody into the museum after this time.

Directions to the National Museum of American History:
Note: taxi and metro are recommended, parking is difficult to locate
The closest metro on the Orange/Blue/Silver lines is at Federal Triangle. Walk south along 12th street to Constitution Ave. Enter the Museum through the Constitution Ave. entrance, where members will be greeted and led to the Dibner Library. Since there is security to pass through at the Museum entrance, please plan extra time.

Members Presenting:

August and Clare Imholtz joined the Lewis Carroll Society of North America in 1978 but did not begin collecting Carroll until a few years later when David and Maxine Schaefer, two of founding members of the society along with Martin Gardner, infected them with the collecting virus (Morbus Carrollensis) and now, 38 years later they have about 4700 Carroll items, mostly books.  Alice is Everywhere: Their small WRBG exhibition will focus on some of the niche areas of Alice in Wonderland collecting. This includes a few intriguing foreign language translations, school yearbooks with an Alice theme, advertisements, plays, a schoolboy report on Alice publishing, and miscellanea from the British Victorian post office and a WWI prisoner camp.

James Mead is Curator Emeritus of Marine Mammals at the National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution.  He interests comprised the natural history of cetaceans, particularly beaked whales.  His book collection began in 1968 with the inadvertent purchase of the 11th edition of the Encyclopedia Britannica.  He has tailored (more-or-less) his collection to include encyclopedias and dictionaries.  He treats encyclopedias from an historical standpoint in that they give a broad idea of what the learned opinion was on various subjects when they were published. He has long been interested in the problems of translating topics from one language into another.  This is his main goal for the dictionary collection.  He has at present 329 encyclopedias and 1,633 dictionaries in his collection.  They are primarily one volume works but range up to 32 volumes for the encyclopedias (13th edition – Encyclopedia Britannica) and 30 volumes for the dictionaries (2nd edition – Oxford English Dictionary).

Jeanne Drewes has been collecting Ediciones Vigia books since her first trip to Cuba in the 1990’s.  She worked in Cuba providing training in conservation treatment but also found time to visit and work with the Vigia cooperative learning how they created these books and banners that she has purchased.  After donating many of these items she always continues to collect more.  She has worked at the Library of Congress since 2006 and has been active in the field of preservation for nearly forty years, including working at Johns Hopkins University, where she was first introduced to the Cuban institutions with whom she worked through the Ford Foundation and also met the Vigia cooperative group.

Donald Farren has enjoyed being a member of the Washington Rare Book Group since 1983. Collecting has led him through various fields over the years, most of which fall under the rubric of the history of American printing and publishing.  He plans a display of the art deco book design of William Addison Dwiggins (1880-1956). A tribute published on the anniversary of his 100th birthday described Dwiggins as an “advertising pioneer and reformer; book, dust jacket and binding designer; calligrapher and cartographer; daring colorist and decorator of printed matter; designer of printing types; humorist and writer; illustrator of books and advertisements; marionette designer and maker; pamphleteer and reformer of the currency; scenic designer and builder; stencil cutter and private pressman; theater operator and playwright.” Dwiggins’s work as a “book, dust jacket and binding designer” is most often met in the more than 300 books that Dwiggins designed for Alfred A. Knopf Publishers. Dwiggins used stencils to construct many of his designs.

We look forward to seeing you there! We are excited about the upcoming year of events.

William E. Baxter

President, Washington Rare Book Group


Is it time to renew your membership dues for 2019!

We hope you will renew (or join): The membership year runs from January through December, and dues are $30 — student dues are offered for $15. We look forward to an engaging season and hope you will renew your membership! Please remember to include any collecting interests that you may have. If you know anybody who would be interested in joining our group, please pass this along!

Not a member? You can join online at or complete the membership form, available at the link below. Please mail the membership form, along with your dues check to:

Jackie Coleburn, Treasurer
Washington Rare Book Group
PO Box 1387
Washington, DC 20013
Please note any collecting interests!

Check out our new ways to pay online at

Event date is past